Heath care plan up for repeal in House of Reps

January 17, 2011 7:49:12 PM PST
The goodwill that the president's call for unity after the tragedy in Tucson will be put to the test this week as the House of Representatives will take up the repeal of health care reform on what is expected to be a purely partisan vote.

If you look at the polling numbers on the president's health care legislation, you get very mixed signals. This week as Republicans in the House attempt to repeal health care reform, the efforts to push public opinion one way or the other will be key -- and it's all in how you frame it. There has been a lot of Republican anger over health care reform. That heat framed the debate over health care for many, particularly conservatives.

"We understand that we have to pull Obama care out by the roots," says Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.

The latest Kaiser health care tracking poll shows a majority of people say yes, repeal the health care law.

"No, I don't think that's the case. I think that's changing. The more people know about the legislation as they see what it means for them directly in their lives," says Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-House minority leader.

Pelosi plans to make the case for health care reform on Tuesday at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

"Well tomorrow at our hearing we'll have an opportunity to hear from people, what it means to them to not be denied health care because they have a pre-existing medical condition," says Pelosi.

Pelosi ticks off a number of provisions that when you look at the polling score very favorably. When asked if they should repeal coverage for pre existing conditions? "No" says the great majority of those polled. How about repealing the Medicare drug provision? Again an overwhelming "No."

"We'll hear about what it means not to have limits on the benefits you receive if in fact you have cancer or diabetes or something like that," says Pelosi.

Pelosi intends to call on people to tell their stories. In order words, she'll put a face on the debate and show real people who've been helped.

On Monday in San Francisco, as Pelosi spoke to the crowd at Yerba Buena Gardens in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., members of the Peninsula Interfaith Action were passing out leaflets asking people to lobby Congress on behalf of keeping health care reform.

And if you Google search "Obamacare" -- the Republican's name for healthcare reform -- you'll find at the top of the page an ad that takes you not to a conservative website, but to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which describes Obama care as end the worst abuses of the insurance industry.

But here is the big hurdle for Pelosi and the president: the great majority of those polled still say yes to repealing the requirement that everyone must have health insurance.

Of course if you repeal the mandate for health care coverage the rest of it likely unravels.

Pelosi believes the numbers will change, but just this month an ABC-Washington Post poll found support for health care law at an all time low.