Republican lawmakers are well aware they need to fulfill their seven-years-and-counting promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
A clear reminder came in November, when more than eight in ten of those who voted for Donald Trump said ObamaCare “went too far,” according to the Fox News Exit Poll.
Yet a Fox News Poll taken Sunday through Tuesday finds support continues to fall for the GOP plans being offered to replace President Obama’s signature law. Only 25 percent of voters favor the Senate’s latest health care bill (which was pulled late Monday). That’s a bit less than the 27 percent who favored last month’s Senate draft, and falls considerably short of the 40 percent who supported the House bill in May.
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Among Republicans, a narrow majority, 52 percent, favors the second Senate bill, down from 75 percent support for the House overhaul in May.
If the existing law isn’t repealed, 47 percent of all voters, and a hefty 40 percent of Republicans, say congressional Republicans deserve all or most of the blame.
Monday night, after learning he wouldn’t have the votes to pass a replacement bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he will move forward with just repeal.
Voters have a different idea. Six in 10 want to keep ObamaCare and make it better (60 percent). Far fewer, 33 percent, prefer throwing it out and starting over.
A 63 percent majority wants changes made so more people have health insurance, even if it increases government spending. That’s more than twice the number who want the changes to focus on cutting spending, even if it means some people lose insurance (27 percent).
Plus, 74 percent want GOP lawmakers to reach out to Democrats and try to find a compromise. That includes 86 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans.
President Trump receives his lowest marks on handling health care. Thirty-two percent of voters approve, while 59 percent disapprove. That matters when your party is trying to do a major legislative overhaul on the issue.
In addition, of 10 issues tested, more voters are concerned about health care (82 percent) than any other. It not only tops worry about the economy (75 percent), but it also edges out concern over the “future of the country” (81 percent).
Here’s part of the struggle McConnell faces in replacing the health care law: two-thirds of those in favor of the Senate’s second bill say they like it because it gets rid of ObamaCare (67 percent). At the same time, two-thirds of those opposed say they dislike it because it gets rid of ObamaCare (66 percent).
Meanwhile, the ongoing battle is taking a toll on Republicans. In 2014, voters were equally frustrated with both sides of the aisle (44 percent each). The new poll shows that by a 9-point margin, more are extremely or very “frustrated and upset” with congressional Republicans (57 percent) than with congressional Democrats (48 percent).
More voters feel “extremely” frustrated with Trump (37 percent) than congressional Republicans (33 percent), congressional Democrats (24 percent) or the news media (27 percent).
For comparison, 28 percent were “extremely” frustrated with Obama in 2014 (the last time the question was asked).
Fifty percent of Republicans were extremely upset with Obama then, while 69 percent of Democrats feel that way about Trump now.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,020 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from July 16-18, 2017. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.