Health

Poll: Voters Oppose American Health Care Act

| by Robert Fowler
The House Speaker, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of WisconsinThe House Speaker, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

New polling indicates that only one-fourth of register voters support the American Health Care Act, the Republican-backed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

On March 15, a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling found that only 24 percent of overall voters support the AHCA while 49 percent opposed it. Meanwhile, 47 percent of respondents were in favor of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, while 39 percent were against it.

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When given the choice between ACA and the AHCA, 49 percent of respondents sided with the Obama administration's health care law while 29 percent backed the GOP replacement proposal.

On the future of the ACA, 63 percent of respondents believe the health care law should be improved through changes while 32 percent want it repealed outright.

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Breaking down the data, the survey found that the AHCA is not only unpopular overall but has only roughly one-third of Republicans optimistic. Of self-identified Republican voters, 37 percent favor the replacement plan, 22 percent were against it and 41 percent were not sure of how to feel about it.

Meanwhile, only 15 percent of self-identified Democrats support the bill while 71 percent are against it. Only 22 percent of independent voters favor the replacement proposal while 49 percent are opposed.

On the same day that PPP released its survey data, a Politico/Morning Consult poll indicated a more positive reception for the GOP proposal. The survey found that 46 percent of registered voters approved of the AHCA while 35 percent disapproved of it. Of those polled, 18 percent strongly approved of the bill while 22 percent strongly disapproved of it, Politico reports.

Meanwhile, respondents were evenly split on the existing ACA, with 47 percent approving of it while an equal percent disapproved of it.

The poll found 34 percent of respondents believe the AHCA would be an improvement over the ACA, while 33 percent believe it would make the health care system worse. Of those polled, 11 percent believe it would not make a noticeable impact while 23 percent have no opinion on how the GOP bill would change health care.

On March 13, the Congressional Budget Office released its estimate of how the AHCA would impact the health care system. It projected that if the AHCA is implemented  in 2017, up to 24 million more Americans would be without health insurance by 2026 than if the ACA were kept in place, Business Insider reports.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price blasted the CBO estimate shortly after its release.

"We disagree strenuously with the report," Price said, according to Bloomberg. "The CBO report's coverage numbers defy logic."

The current CBO director, Keith Hall, was appointed in 2015 by a GOP-majority Congress and had been recommended by Price, who was a member of Congress chairing the House Budget committee at the time.

Sources: Bloomberg via The Denver PostBusiness Insider, PoliticoPublic Policy Polling / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr