President Donald Trump has called the House-passed health care bill a “great plan,” but a new poll finds that three out of four Americans do not believe it fulfills most of his promises.
The poll out Wednesday from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation also found a growing share of the public concerned that the GOP’s American Health Care Act will have negative consequences for them personally by increasing their costs, making it harder to get and keep health insurance, or reducing quality.
“There is nothing in this poll, that if you were in the Senate, would cause you to rush out and pass the House bill,” said Drew Altman, president of the foundation, a clearinghouse for health system information. It was the latest in an ongoing series of Kaiser polls on health care.
Senators are on recess this week, back in their home states sounding out constituents. In Washington, staffers are working on a legislative framework that can get 51 votes. In the poll, only 8 percent said the Senate should pass the House bill as it is.
The House-passed AHCA would eventually lead to 23 million fewer people covered, according to a recent Congressional Budget Office estimate. While it would reduce average premiums over time, it could also destabilize coverage for people with health problems in some states.
The GOP bill would eliminate former President Barack Obama’s Medicaid expansion and limit future federal financing for that safety net program. It would repeal the unpopular requirement that most people get covered or risk fines. It would continue to provide subsidies for private health insurance, but at a reduced level. And it would cut taxes on upper-income people that Democrats raised to finance their Affordable Care Act.
As a candidate and as president, Trump has made reassuring promises about health care. While offering few details, he’s vowed to improve coverage and cut costs. Days ago the president tweeted, “I suggest that we add more dollars to Healthcare and make it the best anywhere. ObamaCare is dead – the Republicans will do much better!”
However, both the House GOP bill and Trump’s own budget would make big cuts across a range of health care programs, from insurance to medical research.
In the poll, three-in-four said they don’t think the narrowly-passed House bill fulfills most of Trump’s promises. Thirty-five percent it fulfilled none of his promises, while 40 percent said the bill fulfills some Trump promises.
Only 4 percent said the GOP bill fulfilled all of the president’s promises, while another 10 percent said it delivered on most of his promises.
Drilling down to Republicans, only 30 percent said the bill delivered on all or most of Trump’s health care promises. Fifty-one percent said it fulfilled some pledges.
Among independents, only 4 percent said the House GOP bill fulfills all the president’s promises, while 79 percent said it delivers on some or none.
On the plus side for Trump and his congressional allies, the poll found that the GOP base continues to support the House bill, with 67 percent of Republicans saying they view it favorably. And a plurality of Americans — 42 percent — expressed support for Medicaid work requirements favored by the GOP
Other findings are not so reassuring.
After Trump won, relatively few people saw personal risks from his promised repeal of Obama’s health overhaul. Only 28 percent thought it would increase the cost of their own health care, while 21 percent said it would worsen access to health insurance, and 19 percent were concerned about quality.
Now, when asked about the GOP health care bill, 45 percent feared their costs would go up, 34 percent were worried about their ability to get and keep health insurance, and 34 percent were concerned that quality would suffer.
The poll found that the ACA — or “Obamacare” — is more popular than the AHCA, or “Trumpcare.” Forty-nine percent had a favorable view of the ACA, compared to 31 percent who had a favorable view of the Republican AHCA.
Twenty-nine percent said the Senate should not pass the GOP bill, while 26 percent wanted major changes, and 24 percent called for minor changes.
The Kaiser poll was conducted from May 16-22 among a nationally representative random digit dial telephone sample of 1,205 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the full sample. For results based on subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher.
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