The Republicans' Obamacare replacement bill is overwhelmingly unpopular

Voters prefer the Affordable Care act over the American Health Care Act

By Matthew Rozsa

Published March 15, 2017 2:32PM (EDT)

 (Getty/Don Emmert)
(Getty/Don Emmert)

President Donald Trump says wants to let the Affordable Care Act fail on its own before replacing it with the American Health Care Act, but people may rather take their chances. A new poll shows that the Republicans' health care plan is overwhelmingly unpopular — and that the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare, is preferred by a wide margin.

The survey by Public Policy Polling discovered that 49 percent of voters oppose the American Health Care Act, compared to only 24 percent who support it. While this margin is unsurprisingly lopsided among Democratic voters (71 percent opposing compared to only 15 percent supporting), independent voters are also overwhelmingly opposed to the Republicans' repeal-and-replace plan (49 percent opposing compared to only 22 percent supporting). Perhaps most notably, 22 percent of Republican voters oppose the bill with a meager 37 percent supporting it and a surprisingly large 41 percent remaining unsure of how they feel.

By contrast, the Affordable Care Act has the support of 47 percent of voters, with only 39 percent opposing it. 63 percent would prefer to tweak the Affordable Care Act rather than repeal it outright, with only 32 percent preferring the latter course, and 49 percent say they prefer the Affordable Care Act to the American Health Care Act (the latter has only 29 percent support).

This isn't to say that a failure by Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare wouldn't carry potential political risks.

"Falling short on a marquee campaign promise — when both chambers are controlled by the president’s party — would almost certainly sap momentum for Trump’s agenda," write John Wagner and Abby Phillip of The Washington Post. "Moreover, Republicans are counting on cuts from former president Barack Obama’s health-care law to make the budget math work on other Trump priorities, particularly major tax reductions."

Voters are speaking with their wallets, signing up for so-called Obamacare plans, the Associated Press reports.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

American Health Care Act Donald Trump Paul Ryan