President Donald Trump asserted that the growing popularity of the Affordable Care Act is similar to former President Barack Obama's approval rating after leaving office. In Trump's view, the American public view both favorably only in hindsight.
On March 13, Trump held a session at the White House attended by citizens who were unhappy with the ACA, also known as Obamacare. He named these people "victims" of Obamacare, reports Fox News. The session was also attended by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.
During his remarks, Trump asserted that Republican lawmakers in Congress must pass the American Health Care Act swiftly because he believes the ACA will collapse within the year.
"In '17 and '18 and '19, it'll be gone by then," Trump said, according to Politico. "Whether we do it or not, it'll be imploded off the map."
The president added that repealing the ACA put Republicans at political risk, noting that he had considered allowing the health care law to collapse so Democrats could absorb the blame for any negative impact on the health care market.
Trump said "the best thing you can do politically is wait a year because it's gonna blow itself off the map, but that's the wrong thing to do for the country."
The president added that he believed the media was casting the ACA in a better light following Obama's departure from office, asserting that the health care law is only growing in popularity among Americans because it is at risk of being repealed.
"It's a little but like President Obama," Trump continued. "When he left, people liked him. When he was here, people didn't like him so much. That's the way life goes. That's human nature. The fact is Obamacare is a disaster, and by ... repealing, by getting rid of it, by ending it, everyone's gonna say, 'Oh, it used to be so great.' But it wasn't great."
Aggregating polls released from 2009 through 2016, Real Clear Politics found that Obama had hit his lowest popularity in 2014, when he had an average 42.5 percent favorability rating and an average 52.9 percent unfavorability rating. By 2016, an average 49.8 percent viewed him favorably and 46.5 percent unfavorably.
Based on the last 13 polls released Jan. 9 through Jan. 18, Real Clear Politics found Obama had an average approval rating of 57.2 percent with an average 39.3 percent disapproved of his job performance.
Meanwhile, Real Clear Politics found that an average 40.4 percent approved of the ACA in 2016 while 49.4 percent disapproved. Based on six surveys released between Jan. 16 and March 4, it found that an average 48.5 percent were in favor of the ACA while an average 44 percent opposed it.
On March 12, a YouGov poll found that 27 percent of national adults believed that the AHCA would be an improvement over the ACA while 32 percent believed that it would worse for health care. The poll found 13 percent believed that it would be about the same while 28 percent were not sure of how it would impact coverage, The Huffington Post reports.
The AHCA has yet to receive an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which would give a general estimate of how many Americans would be covered under the law, how much their premiums would cost and the bill's overall impact on the deficit.
An anonymous senior House Republican told Fox News that the CBO score of the AHCA was expected to be "terrible."