House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. uses charts and graphs to make his case for the GOP's long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act,...
J. Scott Applewhite

New polling: Americans are unimpressed with GOP health care plan

Updated
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham yesterday, “Donald Trump is so excited about barnstorming America in Democrat [sic] Senate district states where he won [by] double digits like Missouri and Indiana and North Dakota and Montana.” The point wasn’t subtle: Ryan believes Senate Democrats from red states can be pushed to support the Republican health care plan by a president who’s eager to apply pressure.

In theory, that makes perfect sense. In practice, red-state Dems probably aren’t too worried about an unpopular president barnstorming through the country, pushing an unpopular bill.

The new Fox News poll, for example, shows Trump’s approval rating dropping to 43%, down five points from the network’s previous survey. The same poll found the health care plan the president is pushing is even less popular than he is:
“Do you favor or oppose the Republican health care plan that would replace Obamacare?”

Strongly favor: 17%
Somewhat favor: 17%
Somewhat oppose: 14%
Strongly oppose: 40%
Combined, it means the American Health Care Act, which some are calling “Trumpcare,” has a 34% favorable rating and a 54% unfavorable rating. (Note that a fairly strong plurality put themselves in the “strongly oppose” camp.)

In contrast, the Affordable Care Act now has a 50% favorability rating in the Fox News poll, making it considerably more popular than the bill GOP officials are trying to replace it with. Making matters slightly worse, while Trump enjoys decent support on his handling of some issues, only 35% of Americans support the president’s handling of health care.

Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, which my wife works for and which the Republican health care plan intends to gut, continues to enjoy more national support than the ACA or the Republican plan, with a 57% favorability rating.

For those keeping score, that means, according to Fox News’ poll, Planned Parenthood is more popular than the Affordable Care Act, which is more popular than Donald Trump, who is more popular than Paul Ryan, who is more popular than the Republican health care plan, which is more popular than congressional Democrats, who are more popular than congressional Republicans.

These findings are roughly in line with new data from Public Policy Polling and the Kaiser Family Foundation, which point to unimpressive support for the pending GOP legislation, and a mainstream view that “Obamacare” should not be repealed.

Granted, there’s some fluidity to the debate, and polls may change in unpredictable directions as the process continues to unfold. But at this point, as Republican leaders struggle to find supporters for their plan among their own allies, it seems Americans just aren’t buying what the GOP is selling.

Affordable Care Act, Health Care, Obamacare and Polling

New polling: Americans are unimpressed with GOP health care plan

Updated