Poll finds GOP health plan less favorable than Obamacare
Americans continue to view Obamacare more favorably than the Housepassed plan to repeal it, according to a Wednesday poll that finds the public is increasingly wary of how the GOP replacement would affect them if it were passed by the Senate and signed into law.
A majority of those polled by the Kaiser Family Foundation — 55 percent — have an unfavorable view of the GOP bill, while only 31 percent approve of it.
Meanwhile, 49 percent say they approve of the existing program under the Affordable Care Act.
The Senate is hoping to kick-start negotiations on its own health care bill when lawmakers return from the Memorial Day recess next week.
House lawmakers passed their version May 4, and President Trump is growing impatient with Congress’ inability to deliver on his repeal promises, even suggesting that Senate Republicans scrap the filibuster to nudge his agenda forward.
Yet the GOP is operating under fasttrack budget rules that would allow them to gut Obamacare and offer sweeping reforms on a majority-line vote, so divisions within the party are the main impediment for the 52-seat majority.
Several senators from states that vastly expanded Medicaid under Obamacare want to rein in federal spending on the program more slowly than the House plan would, while Sen. John Thune of South Dakota is hashing out plans to make the GOP plan’s tax credits more generous for older and needy people who buy insurance on their own.
According to Kaiser, fewer than one in 10 Americans say the Senate should pass the House bill in its current form.
More than half of those polled think the Senate should either not pass the bill (29 percent) or make major changes to it (26 percent), while roughly a quarter said senators should make minor changes.
Obamacare has polled rather poorly over its seven-year life, yet GOP efforts to get rid of it have made President Obama’s signature achievement more popular.
In December, or shortly after the election, less than a third of the public thought their health care would worsen if Obamacare went away.
Now, larger shares fear the cost of health care for themselves or their families (45 percent), they’re ability to acquire and keep coverage (34 percent) and the quality of that coverage (34 percent) would get worse under the GOP plan to scrap the law.
The Congressional Budget Office’s “score” of the House GOP plan said it would save $119 billion over a decade but result in 23 million fewer people holding coverage.
Armed with that information, 39 percent of registered voters told the Morning Consult/Politico poll they would be more likely to oppose the bill, while 20 percent said it made them more likely to back it.
Republicans say the status quo is unacceptable, however, so they have no choice but to usher in market-oriented reforms.
Major players in the marketplace have withdrawn from the Obamacare marketplace, citing a sicker-than-expected pool of customers, though some insurers say they’re hiking rates due to uncertainty ushered in by Mr. Trump.