We'll see how it develops but even though the health care bill is unpopular I think repealing it is going to end up being bad politics for Republicans.
One of the biggest problems for Democrats on this issue and one that has contributed to the bill's unpopularity is that health care is not high on the list of things most Americans are concerned with right now. They've overwhelmingly focused on jobs and the economy, and they've seen the Democratic fixation on health care as a distraction from more important and pressing issues. We've seen over and over that much of the actual content of the health care bill is perfectly popular. It's the overall process that has really turned voters off and for that Democrats have received the blame.
If the Republicans now keep health care in the spotlight by trying to repeal it, they will be the ones independents voters see as having skewed priorities and they may start to pay the price. Yes, repeal will play well with the base. But focusing on that has a high potential to turn off independent swing voters who have been leaning toward the GOP but are sick of the health care debate and want Washington to be more focused on something else.
And let's be realistic. Nothing gets Democratic voters more energized than Republicans misbehaving. Democrats really aren't all that good at getting their own base excited- we saw that in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia. But if Republican leaders try to repeal the health care bill that could rekindle the anger of the Bush years and get drop off voters mad and out to the polls this fall.
Perhaps repeal will end up being a political winner for the GOP but I think it will do them more harm than good.