NPR's Mara Liasson reports that despite the Obama administration's energetic campaign to highlight the popular parts of the new health care law, the overall plan remains unpopular and Republicans are vowing to repeal it.
Indeed, Liasson says that "hundreds" of GOP incumbents and challengers — from California's Carly Fiorina to Missouri's Roy Blunt — have signed a pledge to do so.
And while this drive to obliterate the law may cause anxiety among the reform-minded, Liasson's piece raises a crucial point: once benefits have been bestowed by the government, it's extremely hard to take them away:
Obama's top pollster, Joel Benenson, points to something else voters say about health care.
"When you ask people looking forward, now that the bill has passed, 'What do you want to happen?' " he says, "clear majorities say, 'Give the law a chance to work — make changes if needed.' Only about 4 in 10 say 'repeal it.' "
Former White House communications director Anita Dunn, who is running an independent campaign to boost the health care law, is counting on something that's worked in the past: Once the government confers a new benefit, it is very hard to take it back.
"The Republicans put themselves into a box. Their base wants repeal, but the broader group of voters that they have to appeal to want those consumer protections," Dunn says. "What are the Republicans going to do if they repeal this? Make senior citizens return their $250 checks?"
This program aired on June 14, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.