New GOP health care bill not just unpopular, it's a liability: poll

57 percent of Americans disapprove of the bill and 44 percent are less likely to vote for those who support it

By Matthew Rozsa
Published May 25, 2017 2:23PM (EDT)
 (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)
(AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The American Health Care Act is starting to become a liability for Republicans.

A Quinnipiac University poll found that 57 percent of American voters disapprove of the new bill while only 20 percent support it. Worse yet, 44 percent of people surveyed said they were less likely to vote for a congressman who backed the bill.

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This deep unpopularity may be explained by their perceptions of the new bill. Fifty-seven percent of voters believed the bill will lead to fewer American being covered and 44 percent fear it will make their health insurance costs go up, while 11 only percent believed it will extend coverage and only 12 percent believe it will reduce costs.

The political prospects of Republicans who support the AHCA are even more dire when you consider the breakdown among independents, who are widely regarded as a swing bloc of voters in close elections. Forty-one percent said they were less likely to vote for a congressman who supports the bill and only 17 percent are more likely to do so. Indeed, Republicans were the only listed group to support this bill (by a meager 42 percent to 24 percent) — and that isn't just the only partisan group.

"Republicans are the only listed party, gender, education, age or racial group to support the health care plan," the survey's authors noted.

Assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll Tim Malloy put it even more starkly for members of the GOP.

"Advisory to Republicans who support the replacement for Obamacare: Backing this bill could be very hazardous to your political health," Malloy said. "What was heralded as a cure for a failing plan could have toxic side effects."

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.

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