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Prospective voters and the new health care law
Date:10/27/2010

Boston, MA A comprehensive review of national opinion polls, including newly released data, shows that those who say they intend to vote for a Democratic congressional candidate in 2010 and those who say they intend to vote for a Republican in their district hold starkly different views of what they want the future of health reform legislation to be, mirroring the divide between Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress on this issue.

Nearly three-fourths (73%) of registered voters who say they intend to vote for a Democratic candidate favor the health care legislation passed earlier this year. In contrast, 80% of those who say they intend to vote for a Republican candidate oppose the legislation.

Voters for the two parties' candidates also have completely different views about what effect the health care law will have on the nation's economy. Nearly half (48%) of registered voters who say they intend to vote for a Democratic candidate believe the law will not make much difference to the economy; more think the nation's economy will be better off than worse off (39% to 9%) because of the law. In contrast, three-fourths (75%) of those who say they intend to vote for a Republican candidate believe that the nation's economy will be worse off because of the health care law.

Nearly half (47%) of registered voters who say they intend to vote for a Democratic candidate want Congress to make changes in the health care law to increase government's role, and one-fourth (27%) want to implement the law as it is. Of those who say they intend to vote for a Republican candidate, an overwhelming majority (71%) prefer repealing and replacing most of the law's major provisions.

The analysis, by the Harvard School of Public Health's Robert J. Blendon, Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis, and Research Scientist John M. Benson appears Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010 as an Online First Perspective on the website of the New England J
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Contact: Todd Datz
tdatz@hsph.harvard.edu
617-998-8819
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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