Biggest Threat to Trump's Agenda Comes from Fellow Republicans

Frederick Owens
August 12, 2017

The Democrats' national bus tour is motoring through Iowa, targeting vulnerable House Republicans who voted to repeal Obamacare.

A majority of the public (57 percent) want to see Republicans in Congress work with Democrats to make improvements to the 2010 health care law, while smaller shares say they want to see Republicans in Congress continue working on their own plan to repeal and replace the ACA (21 percent) or move on from health care to work on other priorities (21 percent). Their defections completely stalled the health care reform process in Congress, even as insurance companies continue to exit the individual insurance markets in counties and states around the country.

Hardline Republican anger against McConnell spiked after Senate Republicans failed last month to pass the so-called "skinny repeal" of Obamacare, a watered-down version of a previous Senate bill whose vote was postponed in early July because it didn't have enough support. Almost two-thirds of the public oppose the presidents negotiating tactics, the survey said.

Many GOP lawmakers have campaigned and won elections over the years on the promise to scrap the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama's signature achievement that expanded health insurance coverage to millions of people.

Ominously for the GOP, 6 in 10 say Trump and congressional Republicans are responsible for any upcoming health care problems since they control government. If Trump continues to mess with Obamacare, as this poll illustrates, Republicans will pay a heavy price in 2018.

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The health law is more popular than ever with 52 percent of respondents saying they hold a favorable view of it.

The poll found that 52 percent have a positive view of Obama's law, a 9 percentage point increase since Trump was elected last November.

When asked about the Senate's failure to pass a repeal-and-replace bill, most Americans (60%) say it is a "good thing", while about a third (35%) say it is a "bad thing". The show of support came from moderates and conservatives.

Similarly, six in 10 (60%) say that insurers' decisions not to sell insurance plans in certain marketplaces will affect everyone with insurance, and three-quarters (76%) say so about insurers charging higher premiums in certain marketplaces. The people who voted for Trump will not let this go as easily as they think.

The poll was "based on telephone interviews conducted August 2-6, 2017, with a random sample of 1,017 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia". The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the full sample. Both the random digit dial landline and cell phone samples were provided by Marketing Systems Group (MSG).

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