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Healthcare's more popular planks pushed


May 18, 2010

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- Some of the new healthcare law's more attractive provisions are being enacted quickly before the voting public weighs in in November, strategists said.

The expedited areas include expanding coverage to young adults, covering ailing people with pre-existing conditions or high medical costs, offering tax breaks to small businesses and helping a group of seniors pay for prescription drugs, Politico reported Tuesday.

The law was structured so the individual benefits kick in before the midterm election while the more controversial aspects -- such as mandated insurance coverage -- are delayed until the 2012 election, officials said.

But still, the measures targeted for individuals were fast-tracked, party officials said.

Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., said Democrats can't wait much longer to win over voters skeptical of the law's merits -- not with Election Day looming and voters in an anti-incumbent mood.

Republicans are feeding into the mistrust and distrust, repeating the message that health reform is unaffordable, bad for business, and they will repeal the sweeping legislation, replacing it with incremental, targeted reform, Politico said.

"The polls show the divisions in the country have not changed since the bill passed," Robert Blendon, a Harvard University health policy analyst, said. "They're (Democrats) trying to shift the positive momentum before Labor Day and before people start making election decisions in a more permanent way."

"We think that long before September that we have to do an effective job of getting out there and educating the public," said Larson. "We look at June as vital in terms of getting out to our constituents and educating them."



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