“When House Republicans voted Friday to block funding for health care reform implementation (see below), it was with the knowledge that most Americans disapprove of the tactic. A new CBS News poll shows 55 percent of Americans disapprove of the defunding effort while just 35 percent support it. The poll also shows, however, that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) continues to be unpopular overall. Just 21 percent think the law will make the health care system better while 23 percent believe it will make things worse. Perhaps most interesting of all is that 44 percent are unsure of what the law does, and they don’t know enough to say what the impact will be. The results seem to suggest the law has gained no traction with the populace in the past year but that voters have a keen sense of fair play in how the issue is addressed.
To keep the government operating for fiscal year 2011 (September 2010 through September 2011), Congress has been passing a series of continuing resolutions (CR) that continue the funding for a set period of time. The current CR runs out the first week in March, so the House last week passed yet another CR, shipped it off to the Senate and headed out of town for a President’s Day recess. Included in the just-passed CR are provisions that would de-fund parts of the 2010 health care reform law, such as prohibiting the use of federal funds to pay government employees to work on or to implement the PPACA. The Senate will surely reject this CR because of both the de-funding provisions and the $61 billion in spending cuts for the current fiscal year. Congress will once again confront a looming funding deadline when it returns from recess in a week.”