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Politics and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Politics and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

How Efforts to Repeal or Replace the ACA Were Impacted By Cost-Benefit Analysis in Terms of Legislators Getting Reelected

Efforts to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were significantly impacted by the cost-benefit analysis of lawmakers being reelected (Béland et al., 2023). Many lawmakers knew how divisive the ACA had grown among their people, with supporters and opponents being outspoken and vehement. In this situation, supporting the repeal or replacement of the ACA would have undoubtedly come at a substantial political cost for the lawmakers who represented the districts where the ACA benefits a sizable portion of the population. It became critical for lawmakers running for reelection to assess the possible advantages of supporting the repeal/replace attempts against the potential costs of doing so, including the possibility of losing the support and votes of their constituents. This prompted numerous lawmakers to carefully assess the electoral environment and how their position on the ACA might affect their reelection chances.

How Analyses of The Voter’s Views May Affect Decisions by Legislative Leaders

Legislative leaders may make critical decisions when endorsing or promoting national policy based on their study of voter opinions. Legislators depend on the support and votes of their constituents to keep their seats in office because winning reelection is their top priority(Papp, 2019). Therefore, to influence their choices on issues like those affecting Medicare or Medicaid, it is essential to comprehend the opinions and concerns of the electorate. Legislative leaders can learn more about the priorities and preferences of the voters by examining voter opinions (Willems & Beyers, 2022). They can ascertain whether the people they represent want measures that strengthen Medicaid or Medicare or if they prefer reforms or revisions. With this knowledge, legislative leaders may tailor their stances and suggestions to what they think would appeal to people and improve their prospects of winning reelection. In the end, legislative leaders adjust and position themselves in a way that is consistent with the people’s preferences, using the analysis of voter opinions as a guiding force.


Béland, D., Rocco, P., & Waddan, A. (2023). Obamacare Wars: Federalism, State Politics, and the Affordable Care Act. In Google Books. University Press of Kansas.

Papp, Z. (2019). Dual candidacy as a source of legislator behavior. The reelection and the mandate incentive under mixed-member electoral rules. Acta Politica, 56(1), 26–48.

Willems, E., & Beyers, J. (2022). Public support and advocacy success across the legislative process. European Journal of Political Research.


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To Prepare:

Review the Resources and reflect on efforts to repeal/replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Consider who benefits the most when policy is developed and in the context of policy implementation.

Politics and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Politics and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act


Post an explanation for how you think the cost-benefit analysis in terms of legislators being reelected affected efforts to repeal/replace the ACA. Then, explain how analyses of the voter’s views may affect decisions by legislative leaders in recommending or positioning national policies (e.g., Congress’ decisions impacting Medicare or Medicaid). Remember, the number one job of a legislator is to be re-elected. Please check your discussion grading rubric to ensure your responses meet the criteria.

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