Rob Wittman’s unscientific survey does not necessarily indicate the prevailing opinion in his staunchly conservative First District, which includes much of the Fredericksburg region. Still, the feedback reflects national anxiety over repeal-and-replace scenarios, University of Mary Washington political science professor Stephen Farnsworth said.
Republicans also must be concerned about bolstering the current anti-GOP movement, he said. “If you look at the rallies at airports around the country and the size of the women’s march, imagine how big the demonstrations would be if 20 million people lost their insurance and tens of millions more feel like they’re going to end up with a worse health care deal,” Farnsworth said.
“I think it is important to realize that the idea of getting rid of Obamacare sounds a lot easier than the mechanics of trying to keep voters, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies happy,” Farnsworth said. In 2010, President Obama had to “thread a needle to make this work.”