The Senate Healthcare Bill Is Even More Unpopular Than The House Version

Photo: Olivier Douliery/Getty Images.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that a vote on Republicans' proposed healthcare reform would be delayed until Congress returns from its week-long recess for July 4. But McConnell and the rest of the Republican leadership have more to worry about than just a lack of support in the Senate, considering Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of the bill.
In fact, the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) polled even worse than the House's very similar American Health Care Act (AHCA). A poll conducted by PBS, NewsHour, and Marist found that just 17% of American adults approve of the BCRA, while a USA Today and Suffolk University poll found that only 12% of people like the bill.
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Its sister bill in the House received 21% approval in May, up from 17% in March, according to Quinnipiac University polls.
After the AHCA passed the House last month, Republican senators said they (a committee of all men) would start from scratch rather than vote on the AHCA. However, the Senate bill still closely resembles the AHCA in terms of rolling back the Medicaid expansions created under Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood for a year, and allowing some insurers to opt out of covering essential health benefits, including preventative care and prescription drugs.
While the BCRA doesn't allow insurers to charge people with preexisting conditions higher premiums, like the AHCA would, it proposes deeper long-term cuts to Medicaid funding.
Both bills would result in millions of Americans losing insurance by 2026, as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's analysis revealed that 22 million more people would become uninsured under the BCRA and 23 million under the AHCA.
Obamacare's approval rating, on the other hand, has increased this year. In April, a Gallup poll found that 55% of Americans support President Obama's healthcare reform, compared to 42% in November 2016. When the law was enacted in March 2010, about 49% of Americans were on board.
This isn't to say the nation loves Obamacare in its current form — only 26% of people want it to stay the same, according to Gallup. But, its current approval rating outshines both legislative drafts currently championed by Republican leadership in Congress.
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