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Health Care Overhaul Becomes Campaign Weapon

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Health Care Overhaul Becomes Campaign Weapon

Health Care Overhaul Becomes Campaign Weapon

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NPR: it's lost support among the public. Many polls now show more people oppose it than favor it. And that's having an impact on political races. From Miami, NPR's Greg Allen reports on how the health care law is playing out in key races in Florida.

GREG ALLEN: Unidentified Man #1: The right solutions? Sink backed the government health care takeover, cutting 500 billion from Medicare.

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ALLEN: Unidentified Man #4: We thought she was looking out for us.

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ALLEN: But candidates like Marco Rubio, the Tea Party-backed Republican running for Senate, cite it as another case of a government out of touch with the voters. Here's Rubio from a recent Senate debate.

MARCO RUBIO: They told us when they passed this bill that it wouldn't cost anybody their existing coverage. And now we know that as many as 60 percent of Americans may lose their existing coverage. They told us that this bill would help Medicare and make Medicare more solvent. We now know that that's not true. They didn't tell us it would raise taxes either.

ALLEN: Aubrey Jewett is an associate professor of political science at the University of Central Florida.

AUBREY JEWETT: A lot of seniors are worried that this health care reform doesn't really include much for them. I mean, most of them were pretty comfortable, you know, where they're at. And now they're worried because they think - and it may or may not come to pass - but they think that this health care reform act is going to cause them to have cuts in their Medicare coverage.

ALLEN: Whatever the reason, the health care overhaul has lost support among people like Dennis Weckenman, a 66-year-old Republican from Boca Raton. He supported the health care when it became law earlier this year.

DENNIS WECKENMAN: Yeah, I did.

ALLEN: What changed?

WECKENMAN: I think the amount of money that was being spent and the hidden items in there that we really didn't know about until the whole thing came to fruition. And then you start reading about, well, this isn't true and that isn't true. And I think that was it.

ALLEN: Congressman Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Orlando who's been an outspoken advocate for the overhaul, says he thinks health care is still a good issue for Democrats.

ALAN GRAYSON: The bill does good things for people. Whether you have private insurance, whether you're covered by the government or whether you have no coverage at all, this bill makes your life better. I'm perfectly willing to run on things that makes people's lives better. I think that's a good platform to run on.

ALLEN: Greg Allen, NPR News, Miami.

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