You’ve got to hand it to GOP for doing what many thought was impossible: taking an incredibly unpopular healthcare bill and, after weeks of secret meetings, making people hate it even more!
A new Politico/Morning Consult poll has found that opposition to the American Healthcare Act has increased since the bill’s passage in the House.
According to the poll, only 35% of survey respondents approve of the bill, while 49% (nearly half) said they disapprove of it. The remaining 16% of people surveyed said they either didn’t know or had no opinion.
Compare this to a previous Politico poll that ran in early May, shortly after the House passed the AHCA. Then, slightly more respondents approved of the bill (38%), and fewer said they opposed the bill outright (44%).
Of course, the American public knows very little about this newest iteration of the healthcare bill—which is by design. Much of the drafting has happened behind closed doors for weeks, and few lawmakers, conservatives included, know of the bill’s contents.
Like Senator Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah who is supposedly part of the group writing the bill. As NPR reported:
“If you’re frustrated in the lack of transparency in this process, I share your frustration,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said in a Facebook video for his constituents. Lee is a part of the 13-member working group, but he said he hasn’t seen the draft bill. “I just haven’t been able to see it yet and as far as I know the overwhelming majority of my colleagues haven’t been able to see it either.”
According to the same NPR report, the new bill will largely resemble the previous bill.
The Senate bill is also expected to repeal the individual mandate and all or most of the ACA’s taxes, phase out the Medicaid expansion as well as change how the Medicaid program is funded, establish a system of tax credits to help people buy insurance if they choose, and make it easier for states to opt-out of the ACA’s mandates for preexisting conditions and minimum insurance coverage mandates.
There will be changes. For instance, the Senate version is expected to include more generous tax credits to make sure older, poorer Americans don’t get hit with higher costs. Republicans are also battling over how best to remake the Medicaid program, with key vote senators like Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia sounding skittish about Medicaid reductions.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that the revised healthcare bill will be released on Thursday. A vote could some as soon as next week, with McConnell setting his sights to get the vote done before the July 4 recess.