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Health Care Policy Implications of the 1994 Congressional Elections

Robert J. Blendon, ScD; Drew E. Altman, PhD; John Benson, MA; Mollyann Brodie, MS; Matt James; Gerry Chervinsky
JAMA. 1995;273(8):671-674. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520320081049.
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AS REPORTED in the press, the 1994 congressional elections had broad implications for the future of public policy in the United States. Republicans gained a majority in both houses of Congress, taking control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. In all, the Republicans gained 52 seats in the House and eight seats in the Senate.

The purpose of this article is to examine the implications of the 1994 elections for the future direction of health care policy. Using the results of three Election Day surveys of voters, we will look at two key questions:

  • What role did the health care issue play in voters' choice of candidates?

  • What do voters want the new Congress to do about health care policy? In addition, we will examine the views of California voters on Proposition 186, a proposal to adopt a statewide single-payer system.

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