November 18th, 2009
11:39 AM ET
12 years ago

Are Americans paying attention to health care debate?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Key players on health care include, from left, Sen. Max Baucus, Sen. John Rockefeller, Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Chris Dodd."] Washington (CNN) - November and December tend to be a typically slow time for Congress as it wraps up business before a new session begins.

But not this year.

The Senate is expected to soon return to health care reform, the legislative lightning rod of 2009. Most analysts expect it to be an engaging debate.

But will Americans be paying attention as they carve the Thanksgiving turkey and shop for the holidays?

Analysts say yes - and that Americans are more tuned in than ever.

"I do think the audience for this debate will go beyond 'inside baseball,' though it won't extend beyond the already politically engaged electorate," says Frances Lee, a political scientist with the University of Maryland. "I would expect this debate to be equally engaging, though it will also be far longer."

Lee says the Senate debate is "sure to draw a big audience by the normal standards for such things."

It's a point with which Senate Historian Donald Ritchie agrees.

"I think what's been unusual about the health care debate is that the public has been following it from the very beginning," he says. "They've actually been watching it going through the committee systems, through the markup systems."

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. D.

    We pay attention to health care and we pay attention to our real problems being ignored (Jobs! and so on)....

    November 18, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. bill

    Oh YES, More than what Obama wants people too.

    Healthcare reform = another entitlement program.

    Why work when the government will feed, house you and now give you healthcare.

    November 18, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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