Poll: only 24% of Americans approve of Graham-Cassidy

With their deadline fast approaching, Senate Republicans’ rush to repeal and replace Obamacare remains as unpopular as ever with the public.

Only 24 percent of Americans support Graham-Cassidy, the health care bill Republicans are furiously whipping to pass ahead of September 30, according to a new poll released Thursday by Public Policy Polling. The poll is the first to date of the proposed legislation, which would cripple Obamacare’s exchanges and sharply cut long-term Medicaid spending while also taking billions of funding from blue states that implemented Obamacare and giving it to red ones that did not.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) has promised that the bill will result in more people having insurance. Most Americans do not believe him. Majorities believe that Graham-Cassidy would instead both raise health care costs for most Americans and result in fewer Americans obtaining coverage. Only 20 percent said they thought the bill would cover more Americans.

Republicans have run against political headwinds since first trying to pass their health care bill at the beginning of this congressional session in January. The House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, passed in May, polled abysmally, as did the Senate’s later attempts in July. One poll from the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation found 63 percent of voters in deep-red districts disliked Speaker Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act. Another poll found support for AHCA at around 24 percent.

The new poll from PPP — a polling firm regarded as having a left-leaning bent — found that little about the Graham-Cassidy bill appears to have convinced Americans to come around to Republican efforts.

Among PPP’s findings:

  • Approval of Obamacare remains high, with 54 now in support and 38 opposed.
  • 51 percent of Americans believe Graham-Cassidy would “scale back” protections for those with preexisting conditions. Only 27 percent believe people with preexisting conditions will keep their insurance.
  • 68 percent of Americans believe that Republicans should wait for the Congressional Budget Office to score the legislation before implementing it.
  • About half of Americans say they’re less likely to vote for a member of Congress who votes for Graham-Cassidy; 23 percent say voting yes would make them more likely to support that representative.

Since Republican majorities took control of Congress, organizers on the left have believed their best weapon to stop conservative legislation was to convince lawmakers that doing so was against their political self-interest. “Every senator has a mental Richter scale in which they can measure the scale of the upheaval caused by any political movement. They look to a key set of signals for how destructive an earthquake is going to be,” said Ben Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn.

Now, the resistance will hope that polls like PPP’s will amplify the sense that Graham-Cassidy is broadly unpopular — and that a vote for it could put Republican lawmakers’ careers at risk.

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