AHCA attracting little public support, polls reveal

Two recent polls show that fewer than one in four American voters support the Republican American Health Care Act (AHCA) in its current form.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey of 800 American adults taken May 11 to May 13 shows that only 23 percent of respondents consider the AHCA a “good idea,” while more than twice as many (48 percent) said the GOP healthcare plan passed earlier in May by the House of Representatives was a “bad idea.”

Slightly more than half of Republican respondents (52 percent) called the AHCA a good idea, while more than three-quarters of Democrats (77 percent) slammed the legislation.

In a Quinnipiac University national poll released last Thursday, only 21 percent of American voters approve of the GOP healthcare plan passed earlier in May by the House of Representatives, with 56 percent of respondents disapproving.

“Except for an anemic 48 percent to 16 percent support among Republicans, every listed party, gender, educational, age and racial group opposes the plan,” Quinnipiac said in announcing the results. Eighty-one percent of Democrats opposed the AHCA, while only 6 percent approve of it.

Asked whether they think “giving states the ability to decide whether to allow health insurance companies to raise insurance rates for Americans with pre-existing conditions is a good idea or a bad idea,” 75 percent of respondents said it was a bad idea, with only 21 percent expressing support.

The AHCA now is in the Senate, which recently announced that it expects to have its own version ready in the summer, and where Republicans have a narrow 52-48 majority. 

Given the strong current public opposition to the AHCA, which many critics say will cause millions of Americans to lose health insurance, the Senate will be under tremendous political pressure to make changes that would attract more voter support. The alternatives are to see the bill go down to defeat or risk passing deeply unpopular legislation less than 18 months before midterm elections.

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