Political Leaders Face Voter Opposition to Medicare Cuts

Voter poll analysis portends conflict in ACA implementation

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of those who voted for President Obama in the 2012 election favor implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while those who voted for Republican officeholders are likely to oppose parts or all of the implementation of the ACA; both sides oppose cuts to Medicare as a means to balance the budget, according to an analysis of newly released polls published as a Special Report online Nov. 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Robert J. Blendon, Sc.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues conducted the analysis which revealed that most who voted for Obama favor implementation or expansion of the ACA (78 percent) and want the federal government to continue efforts to ensure most Americans have health insurance coverage (92 percent). Eighty-four percent of those who voted for Republican candidate Mitt Romney want the ACA repealed and 62 percent oppose efforts for universal coverage.

Upon commencement of the post-election interim session of Congress, a debate will begin between President Obama, the Democratic-led Senate, and the Republican-led House on how to reduce the federal budget deficit. The poll results reveal that the majority of both Obama (78 percent) and Romney (68 percent) voters oppose making large Medicare cuts as a means of budget deficit reduction.

"While President Obama has support to implement the ACA overall, he is likely to face opposition from Republican governors and state legislators in expanding Medicaid and implementing statewide health insurance exchanges," Blendon said in a statement. "In the House, he is likely to face Republican opposition to efforts to fix or improve upon the ACA and on budget matters."

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