Poll Shows Majority Favor Health Reform; N.Y. Democrat Dares GOP To Repeal Law; Court Allows Legal Challenge

McClatchy Newspapers: "A majority of Americans want the Congress to keep the new health care law or actually expand it, despite Republican claims that they have a mandate from the people to kill it, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll. The post-election survey showed that 51 percent of registered voters want to keep the law or change it to do more, while 44 percent want to change it to do less or repeal it altogether. Driving support for the law: Voters by margins of 2-1 or greater want to keep some of its best-known benefits, such as barring insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. One thing they don't like: the mandate that everyone must buy insurance." The survey was conducted Nov. 15-18 and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points (Thomma, 11/22).

The New York Daily News: Rep. Gary Ackerman, a Democrat from New York City, is "daring the GOP to repeal the health care reform law," offering them "a series of six bills that would roll back key portions of the law, including prohibitions on barring pre-existing conditions, lifetime insurance limits, expanded dependent coverage, and banning the practice of insurance companies dropping sick customers." Ackerman has named the package of repeals "HIPA-CRIT— Health Insurance Protects America-Can't Repeal It." Ackerman said the provisions he is offering up for repeal are "great safeguards that improve coverage for all Americans," and Republicans who campaigned to eliminate them are afraid to do so—so he is "calling them out on it" (McAuliff, 11/23).

The Hill Healthwatch blog: Ackerman, who strongly supports the health law, said his proposal "will give Republicans a chance to 'put up, or sit down' on their campaign promise to repeal the eight-month-old law" (Pecquet, 11/23).

The Hill, in a separate story: "A federal judge in Ohio has ruled a lawsuit against the healthcare reform can proceed, marking at least the third challenge to get a green light. Two similar lawsuits have been dismissed." In Monday's split ruling, Judge David Dowd of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Ohio "agreed to hear arguments that the law's individual mandate — the requirement that people buy insurance — violates the Constitution's Commerce Clause," while rejecting claims that the law violates the plaintiffs' right to freedom of association guaranteed by the First and Fifth amendments, their right to privacy, and the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. In his decision, Dowd acknowledged that the "controversy ignited by the passage" of the new health care law would "eventually require a decision by the Supreme Court" (Pecquet, 11/23).

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