The House GOP bill passed in May to repeal and replace Obamacare could hardly be less popular ― it’s currently favored by only about a quarter of the public. But even as Republican Senate leaders have tried their best to keep their version of a repeal under wraps ― the text of it was finally made public Thursday ― the party hasn’t stopped scrambling to pass a health care bill.
A new HuffPost/YouGov survey helps explain why Republicans are anxious both to finalize a measure while obscuring its contents: They have reasons to fear both the public response to the specifics of their effort and their base’s response if they fail to get rid of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act.
Public attitudes toward the House bill ― known as the American Health Care Act ― have not improved since May, when it got 26 percent support in HuffPost/YouGov polling. Just 24 percent of Americans now favor the House bill passed, with 45 percent opposed and 31 percent unsure.
Nearly a third of the public strongly opposes the AHCA, with just 5 percent strongly in favor.
Other outlets have found the bill to be even less popular: in a newly released NBC/Wall Street Journal survey, only 16 percent consider the House’s legislation to be a good idea.
By 51 percent to 34 percent, Americans say they’d prefer to see the current health care law kept in place, rather than repealed, according to the latest HuffPost/YouGov poll. And if forced to choose, 41 percent say they’d prefer to see Obamacare retained, while 33 percent want the House bill put on the books.
Republicans in the survey aren’t especially enthusiastic about the House legislation, but they’re still deeply committed to seeing Obamacare erased by whatever means.
Fifty-five percent back the House bill, according to the poll, although just 14 percent are strongly in support. Twenty percent are opposed.
That’s a remarkably low level of GOP support, especially at a time when policy views tend to cleave closely to party lines. By contrast, more than 80 percent of Republicans said they approved of President Donald Trump’s handling of terrorism, his proposed travel ban and his first trip abroad, according to other recent HuffPost/YouGov polls.
If the choice is between House health care bill or nothing, however, Republicans’ preferences are more clear ― 68 say they’d prefer to see the AHCA enacted, while just 7 percent said they’d rather see Obamacare remain. Another 24 percent aren’t sure.
Voters who supported Trump in last year’s election are even more unified. Although just 59 percent favor the AHCA, 80 percent say they’d prefer it to Obamacare.
Among Republicans who want to see the current law repealed, 70 percent say it’s very important to them that Trump and Congress succeed in doing so, and 94 percent that it’s at least somewhat important.
The political calculus surrounding the House bill could quickly change if it becomes law, rather than a hypothetical rebuke to Obamacare. Fifty-four percent of Republicans expect that the AHCA would be an improvement over Obamacare, but even Republicans dislike a number of the provisions in the House bill.
With health care surpassing the economy this year as Americans’ top concern, it’s likely that the issue will retain its salience as the GOP attempts to craft a final version and all lawmakers prepare for the 2018 midterm elections. As FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver has noted, voting for Obamacare likely caused the massive Democratic losses in the 2010 midterm elections. And that law, while unpopular at the time, never saw as little support as the AHCA does now.
Use the widget below to further explore the results of the HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups:
The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted June 13 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.
HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.
Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.