Will Gabrielle Giffords Shooting in Arizona Change Health Care Reform Rhetoric?


King, however, argues that connecting the political discourse to the tragedy in Tucson, and delaying the vote, is a mere tactic to delay the repeal that is likely to pass in the House.

"We want to have debate, we want to have discourse and there isn't going to be any Republican, I don't think, that uses sharp language," he said. "The sharp language will come from the other side. The people that are talking about this, to me, seem to be using this as a tactic to try to crawl the debate and maybe delay the vote."

"It fits right in with the political opportunism that goes along with those who want to ban guns, those who want to ban free speech, those who want to blame it on the Tea Party," he added. "It's the people who are opposed to the agenda of repealing Obamacare that are looking for some ways to make an argument and that's all there is."

Health Care Repeal to Move Forward Amid Fears of Political Polarization

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that repealing the health care law would cost $145 billion through the end of the decade and $230 billion by 2021, and that it would add roughly $145 billion to the federal budget deficit.

But Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, dismissed the estimates, and has instead blamed Democrats for "rigging" the CBO numbers.

The public remains divided over the health care reform law, especially when it comes to what it means to them.

In the most recent poll conducted by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, 42 percent of Americans held a favorable view of health reform, 41 percent an unfavorable view and 18 percent offered no opinion.

The public is also divided over repeal: 26 percent, said they support repealing the law in its entirety; 25 percent want to repeal parts of the law and keep other parts; 21 percent want to leave the law as it is and 20 percent want to expand the law beyond its current footprint.

Democrats admit that they have yet to sell Americans on the health care law, and supporters of it say the repeal presents a fresh opportunity to raise that awareness. But Democrats also have to deal with the divisiveness in their own caucus and the loss of the House in November, wounds that are still fresh for many.

"Overall, this is a job killer, it increases the deficit," Rep. Dan Boren, D-Ok., one of the handful of Democrats who broke from their party and voted against the health care law, said on Fox News Friday.

"You know, one of the reasons why those 13 Democrats are coming back is because they listened to their constituents," he added. "I think they realize, you know, after the shellacking, as they say, within our caucus, I think a lot of people realize that hey, maybe you should listen to your constituents and vote your conscience."

The Obama administration is also being challenged on another front in the health care battle. On Wednesday, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt sent a letter to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi requesting that his state be allowed to join the multi-state lawsuit that challenges the law's constitutionality.

The law, which most predict will go to Supreme Court, focuses chiefly on the clause that requires all Americans to carry health insurance by 2014. It is one of the central features of the law and one that insurance companies say is needed, given the tough requirements they now face.

ABC News' John Parkinson contributed to this report.

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