The Public’s Health Care Agenda for the 112th Congress
Though the public remains divided on health reform overall, opposition to the new law ticked upward in January as Republicans ramped up efforts to repeal it, according to a survey conducted by researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. The survey also showed that there is no groundswell of public support for overturning the law, that many individual components of the legislation remain popular across the political spectrum and that a majority of Americans oppose the idea of lawmakers using the appropriations process to defund or slow down implementation of the law. The survey, fielded in the weeks prior to the House repeal vote, was conducted at a time of substantial change in the political landscape in Washington, as Republicans take control of the House and politicians of both major parties attempt to respond to public concerns over the rising federal budget deficit. While most Americans in the survey say they prefer spending cuts over new taxes as the main way to reduce the deficit, there is little public consensus about where to achieve meaningful savings and a majority opposes any spending reductions in two of the nation’s largest entitlement programs, Medicare and Social Security. Nearly half of Americans oppose any cuts in another major entitlement program, Medicaid. Large majorities oppose major reductions in all three programs.
Materials from the January 25, 2011, briefing:
Press Release (.pdf)
Participant Bios (.pdf)