By Tulay Turan, J.D.
Most (55 percent) of the public holds an unfavorable view of the Congressional plan that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and the same share (55 percent) want the Senate either to make major changes to the House-passed bill or not pass it all, according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.
Three in 10 (31 percent) of the public hold favorable views of the American Health Care Act, which narrowly passed the House on May 4 and is now under consideration in the Senate. In comparison, about half (49 percent) of the public hold favorable views of the Affordable Care Act.
There are large partisan divisions on these questions, with far more Republicans holding favorable views of the replacement plan (67 percent) than of the ACA (12 percent). The opposite is true for Democrats, and among independents, more also hold favorable views of the Affordable Care Act (48 percent) than of the replacement bill (30 percent).
In spite of these views, a majority of the public (74 percent) believe it is "likely" that the president and Congress will repeal and replace the ACA. At the same time, relatively few say the Senate should adapt the American Health Care Act as passed by the House (8 percent) or with only minor changes (24 percent). Most want the Senate either to make major changes (26 percent) or not pass it at all (29 percent).
Negative views on bill’s personal impact. The poll also finds the public more pessimistic about the replacement bill now than they were in December after the elections but before Congress put forward specific legislation. Nearly half (45 percent) of the public now says the replacement bill would result in higher health care costs for their family, compared to about a quarter (28 percent) who said so in December. In addition, a third now expect their ability to get and keep health insurance and the quality of their health care to get worse under the pending bill, compared to about one in five that said so in December.
The poll also found as follows:
- A majority of the public (63 percent) continue to say that President Trump and Republicans in Congress are responsible for any problems with the Affordable Care Act moving forward, more than twice the share who say President Obama and Democrats in Congress are responsible. Those considering Republicans responsible includes most Democrats (77 percent) and independents (63 percent), and half (49 percent) of Republicans.
Few (14 percent) believe that the House-passed bill fulfills all or most of President Trump’s promises on health care, while three quarters (76 percent) say it fulfills none (35 percent) or some (40 percent) of them. Among Republicans, twice as many say it fulfills none or some of the President’s promises (59 percent) as say it fulfills all or most of them (30 percent).
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