Election results not driven by health reform

Country remains split on health care legislation

Despite its divisiveness, health reform legislation did not play a major role in the midterm elections.

“By far the economy was the most important issue on people’s minds, and their votes to throw out incumbents is more of an expression of their frustration with the slow pace of the recovery than it is with health reform,” says Timothy D. McBride, PhD, professor and associate dean for public health at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

“We are still a 50-50 country more or less on health reform,” he says.

“About half the country really dislikes the reform law, and those voters were likely to vote Republican in this election. But in all likelihood they would have done so anyway. Similarly, the other half that still favor the legislation would likely have voted for the Democrats anyway.”

McBride expects the new majority in the House of Representatives will attempt to repeal or slow down the implementation of the health reform legislation.

“It will not be easy to do this, most especially because the President has the veto pen,” he says.