Most Amer­i­cans re­ject GOP health care plan, want Oba­macare.

Only 37 per­cent back ‘re­place and re­peal’

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY TOM HOW­ELL JR.

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.

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