Most Americans reject GOP health care plan, want Obamacare.
Only 37 percent back ‘replace and repeal’
New polling says the GOP’s latest ideas on health care are unpopular and that a majority of Americans will hold President Trump and his congressional allies responsible for Obamacare’s problems moving forward, underscoring the tall task before Republicans sticking to a repeal-and-replace strategy.
Hoping to hand Mr. Trump a much-needed win, House Republicans are floating a proposal that lets states opt out of parts of the Affordable Care Act that require insurers to cover “essential” benefits and to charge healthy and sick customers the same amount.
Yet majorities say those protections should be maintained nationwide, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, the first to examine the contours of the emerging compromise plan.
Americans also are cool to the GOP’s repeal-andreplace strategy generally, with 61 percent preferring to “keep and try to improve” it, compared to 37 percent who back the Republican push.
More than 40 percent of people want Mr. Trump to work with Democrats to overhaul health care, compared to about a quarter who think he should team with conservative Republicans.
To that point, a separate poll from WSJ/NBC News out Tuesday shows a 16-point drop in confidence in the GOP when it comes to health care, with 50 percent saying they now have little to no confidence in the Republicans’ ability to improve things.
Republicans on Tuesday said they had no plans to abandon their repeal-and-replace strategy, even if it’s taking longer than they’d hoped, saying the 2010 Affordable Care Act failed to deliver and has resulted in higher premiums and fewer choices on the individual market.
“The House and the Senate continue to work on not just repealing, but repealing and replacing the Obama health care law with healthcare that works for all Americans,” said Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican. “So it should be no surprise that it takes some time to do that. But what’s critically important is that we get it right.”
Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican and chairman of the archconservative House Freedom Caucus, tweeted that “Obamacare repeal and replace will happen — it’s just a matter of when.”
The White House wanted to pass a repeal bill by Saturday, the 100th day of Mr. Trump’s presidency, but House GOP leaders say they’re focused on a stopgap spending bill needed to keep the government open beyond this week.
A senior Democratic aide said negotiators on their side still want the GOP to authorize vital “cost-sharing” reimbursements for insurers in the spending bill, yet Mr. Trump has threatened to withhold them, saying it will force his political rivals to negotiate on a health overhaul.
The payments are still being made for now, but Mr. Trump can stop them by withdrawing the previous administration’s appeal of a court ruling that said the payments must be blessed by Congress to be lawful.
“ObamaCare is in serious trouble. The Dems need big money to keep it going — otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought,” Mr. Trump tweeted Sunday.
Three in five people say Mr. Trump shouldn’t use negotiating tactics that could disrupt the insurance markets, although it’s an opinion mainly driven mainly by Democrats and independents.