Poll: Support for Healthcare Repeal Drops, but Opposition Remains

A new poll shows that support for repealing the contentious healthcare reform bill has dropped and only a minority of Americans oppose it.

An Associated Press-GFK poll, released Monday, found that only about 1 in 4 people support repealing the law. Opposition to the law is also down to 41 percent, compared to 47 percent of Americans that were against it after the November congressional election.

Support for the 2010 healthcare law is now at 40 percent, up from 38 percent after the November election.

The news comes as the Republican House leadership seeks to resume congressional business on Tuesday, which also means that Republicans are once again pushing forward a bill to repeal the healthcare law.

The repeal debate was anticipated to be highly contentious prior to the break that came after the Tucson shooting that resulted in the death and injury of 20 people, including Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) who is now hospitalized in serious condition.

Since the Jan. 8 tragedy, there have been numerous calls for a change in tone among politicians. On Jan. 12, President Barack Obama said in his Arizona address that Democrats and Republicans alike need to speak in a manner that "heals and not wounds."

Christian leaders have also joined in that call. Over 50 religious leaders, including megachurch leaders T. D. Jakes and Joel C. Hunter, have urged lawmakers to "serve as stewards of our democracy by engaging ideological adversaries not as enemies, but as fellow Americans."

Both sides have been making efforts to approach the bill in a civil way. On network television, Congress members from both sides of the aisle have announced plans to physically connect with each other.

"My colleague Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) called for Democrats and Republicans to sit together at the state of the union. I called up Tom [Colburn (R-Okla.)] after he did that, and he graciously agreed that we are going to sit together," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told NBC's Meet the Press.

In what could be seen as an acknowledgment of how controversial the repeal bill is, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has chosen to omit the word "killing" in the GOP bill as he resumed discussion on the issue. Boehner instead refers to the 2010 healthcare reform bill as "job-destroying" and "job-crushing."

However, he is staying on message, explaining on his website over the weekend that the reform bill must be repealed because it will force businesses to eliminate jobs, drive up the deficit and push Americans out of the health plans they currently enjoy.

Social conservatives fear the bill will also bankroll the abortion industry. However conservative groups have backed off from overt support for a full healthcare repeal in favor of two bills specifically targeting federal grants given to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

Despite less than fervent support for a health care repeal, Boehner has made it clear that he and other Republicans are going to continue moving forward.

"No act of violence is going to keep us from doing our jobs and representing the will of our constituents. The American people have made it clear they want us to focus on cutting spending and removing barriers to job creation, and repealing the health care law is critical to fulfilling these priorities," he stated on his website.

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