The Washington Post reports The Cassidy-Graham bill probably won’t become law. And more than half of America is good with that.
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that more than half of Americans (56 percent) prefer Obamacare to the latest GOP plan. Only 33 percent prefer the bill that Senate Republicans, panicked by a month back home with their base and no Obamacare repeal to show, abruptly put on the table this month.
Worse for Republicans: Roughly twice as many people strongly prefer the current law to the Republicans’ plan, 42 to 22 percent.
The Post-ABC poll described three aspects of the Cassidy-Graham proposal to voters before asking what they prefer: its elimination of the requirement for nearly all Americans to have health insurance, the phasing out of federal funds to help lower- and moderate-income people buy health insurance, and letting states replace federal rules on health coverage with their own rules.
Of course, partisanship does color the way voters see this bill. Unsurprisingly, Democrats are supportive of the current health-care law — in all, 85 percent of them prefer it to the Republican plan, with 70 percent strongly preferring it. Large majorities of urbanites, people under 40 and nonwhites also favor Obamacare to the GOP alternative.
Republicans favor the new plan by a nearly a 3-to-1 margin, 66 to 23 percent, over the current law. But note that nearly a quarter of their party doesn’t support this bill, which is the closest thing to an Obamacare repeal that Congress has seriously considered.
Republicans are trapped right where they’ve been all along: struggling to pass a bill that’s unpopular within ideologically wide wings of their party and unpopular with a sizable swath of the general public. At one point, some reputable polls found an earlier Republican health-care bill was about as popular as Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Meanwhile, Obamacare and big-government ideas like single-payer health insurance have been getting more popular.
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Public opinion didn’t stop Republicans from voting on unpopular health-care bills earlier this year. Republicans may try again early next week to pass this bill, given it’s their last chance for a while to do something on health care. It’s likelier than not it will fail, given that Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) oppose it and two other senators have serious concerns about it.
That would mean Obamacare would be the law of the land for the foreseeable future. And more than half of America is okay with that.
UPDATE: The Brookings Institution weighs in with an analysis projecting that Graham-Cassidy would cause 21 million people to lose their health coverage between 2020 and 2026. (h/t Paul waldman)