Monday, July 10, 2017

Health Care Bill Stalls; Polls are Disaster

The Republican health care repeal and replace bill, which passed the House (May 4, 2017), stalled in the Senate just as senators headed home for the 4th of July break.

Polls have not been good for the bill. In an NPR June 28th poll, only 17 percent of the public approved of the bill. Only 35 percent of Republicans support the bill.
  • NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll – 17% approve, 55% disapprove (June 28, 2017)
That pattern was similar in a spate of national polls released starting June 20. Overall support is below 20 percent, and less than two-fifths of Republican identifiers offer support.
  • Wall Street Journal/NBC – 16% good idea (June 20, 2017)
  • Quinnipiac poll – 16% approve (June 27, 2017)
  • USA Today/Suffolk University poll – 12% approve (June 28, 2017)
The legislation is a conundrum for Republicans. After the struggle in the House, they have an outline
Sen. Mitch McConnell
for action. They promised and most campaigned on repeal for over seven years and four campaigns. And unless the revenue elements of the bill are resolved, tax reform is much more difficult. Most importantly, President Trump’s and their agenda and image of breaking the gridlock are seriously damaged.

Unfortunately, to pass a bill, the Republicans need 50 Senate votes from many senators who do not want a controversial bill to run on in 2018 or 2020, which will likely affect voters’ health and pocketbooks. A small group of super conservative senators want less entitlement and more reform in the bill. Interests groups, especially health industry, patient advocates and governors, have mobilized and are pressuring senators for more entitlement spending.

It made for a tough 4th of July break and possibly no repeal and replace in the near future.

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