By Michael O'Brien - 07/26/10 12:51 PM EDT
Healthcare reform will end up helping Democrats at the polls this fall, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested Monday.
Reid, who is facing a tough reelection challenge himself, said public opinion is shifting in favor of the new healthcare law Democrats passed through Congress earlier this year, and predicted more and more voters would reject Republicans' calls for repealing the legislation.
The more people know about healthcare, the better they like it, said Reid, who listed several aspects of the new law he sees as popular.
The Senate Democratic leader is reflecting a sense among Democrats that playing up benefits within the healthcare law that would be threatened by a GOP repeal will help incumbent Democrats this fall.
"All the polls around the country, including Nevada, indicate that when people are presented with 'Do you want to do away with giving 25,000 small businesses in Nevada a 3 percent discount on the healthcare?' they all say no," Reid explained in an interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network. " 'Do you want to have Medicare extended for 19 years like we did it?' They say yes. You don’t want to repeal that. 'Do you want to open the doughnut hole again?' They say no, so the more people know about healthcare, the better they like it.”
Republicans, for their part, note that polls have been much more mixed than Reid had argued. Senate Republicans released a research document last Wednesday showing three polls that show support for the reform law below 50 percent.
Reid also said that his party had no choice but to tackle Wall Street reform and healthcare reform over the past year and a half.
"Both those issues, had we not done, we would have bankrupt our country, so I think as has been seen in the polls around the country now the majority of Americans support healthcare reform," he said. "The talk about repealing healthcare just won’t go anyplace, so I think everything’s been necessary. It’s been good and our country is better for having passed this legislation."
Reid has come under fire on healthcare, Wall Street reform and other top issues from his GOP challenger in this fall's election, former State Assemblywoman Sharron Angle.
Reid called Angle out of the mainstream and said he's "comfortable" with where his campaign efforts are today.
"I think that what I have seen her say, what I have watched her say, what I have read what she has said, she’s not mainstream for Nevada or probably most any other place in America," Reid said of Angle.
"I have a campaign that’s moving along just fine," the majority leader said elsewhere in the interview. "I feel comfortable where we are today."