LAS VEGAS - Sunday's health care reform vote has invoked strong emotions from supporters and critics. Political observers say voters will remember how lawmakers voted on the measure when the lawmakers seek re-election in November.
Nevada Representatives Dina Titus and Shelley Berkley both voted for the bill. They both face re-election in November. U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, a supporter of health care reform, is also up for re-election.
Political consultant Steve Wark believes Democrats will face an uphill battle in the upcoming election as a result of the bill. "It puts the Democrats in a quandary," he said. "It turned out to be a partisan bill. It doesn't become a Reid problem or Titus problem or Berkley problem. It becomes a problem of every Democrat on the ballot."
Others do not see it that way. Political consultant Dan Hart thinks time will tell if the health care issue will sway local voters. "I think health care cuts both ways," Hart said. "The political fight has just begun. The Republicans will be throwing bricks, saying we have to repeal it, and it's the end of civilization as we know it. Democrats will be saying this is the best thing since sliced bread."
Hart says how voters react depends on which side has the more persuasive argument. "It remains to (be seen) who does that more effectively and who's pronouncement will resonate with the voters," Hart said.
Until then, health care reform remains a controversial issue. "From a responsible standpoint in our society, we are taking care of more people with this legislation in place. I think that's a good thing," Hart said. "The federal government is sending a very bad message that they can compel you to do something constitutionally you have a right not to buy," Wark said.