Americans increasingly concerned about impact of AHCA

Most Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the House in early May and want the Senate to either vote it down as is or make major changes, a new survey shows.

The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, conducted by phone in mid-May, shows that 55 percent of respondents dislike the AHCA, with an identical percentage preferring the Senate to either make substantive changes or reject outright the House-passed version.

Less than one-third of respondents (31 percent) view the AHCA favorably, far behind the nearly half (49 percent) who hold positive opinions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed under President Obama in 2010.

Fewer than one in 12 Americans (8 percent) said the Senate should pass the AHCA as approved by the House, with 24 percent favoring passage with only minor changes. Nearly three in 10 respondents (29 percent) said the Senate should reject any version of the AHCA, while 26 percent said they want the Senate to make major changes.

The AHCA as passed by the House cuts more than $800 billion from Medicaid over a 10-year period. A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis estimates that 23 million Americans currently covered would lose health insurance by 2026.

Given the Medicaid cuts and the CBO analysis, it’s not surprising that an increasing number of Americans are concerned about the AHCA’s impact. Nearly half of respondents (45 percent) said the bill would result in higher health care costs for their family, compared to 28 percent who said so in December. Further, “a third now expect their ability to get and keep health insurance and the quality of their health care to get worse under the pending bill, compared to about one in five that said so in December,” Kaiser said.

Designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation, the poll was conducted May 16-22 among a nationally representative random digit dial telephone sample of 1,205 adults.  

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