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Poll shows weak public support for latest Republican repeal plan

On health care, GOP policymakers are completely alone, having convinced themselves and no one else.
Image: Bill Cassidy,Lindsey Graham
FILE - In this July 13, 2017, file photo, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, talk while walking to a meeting on Capitol...

There are literally no major health care institutions in the United States that believe the latest Republican health care plan is a good idea. From doctors to nurses, hospitals to insurers, patient advocates to state officials, the entire industry has scrutinized the Graham-Cassidy legislation and called for its swift defeat.

On this, GOP policymakers are completely alone. They've convinced themselves -- and no one else.

But what about the public? There hasn't been much in the way of polling -- the legislation was only introduced last week -- but Vox this morning highlighted what I believe is the first national survey on the pending proposal.

With their deadline fast approaching, Senate Republicans' rush to repeal and replace Obamacare remains as unpopular as ever with the public.Only 24 percent of Americans support Graham-Cassidy, the health care bill Republicans are furiously whipping to pass ahead of September 30, according to a new poll released Thursday by Public Policy Polling. The poll is the first to date of the proposed legislation, which would cripple Obamacare's exchanges and sharply cut long-term Medicaid spending while also taking billions of funding from blue states that implemented Obamacare and giving it to red ones that did not.

In case these results didn't make the repeal crusaders feel discouraged enough, let's not overlook the fact that the same PPP results found public support for the Affordable Care Act reaching 54% -- well over double the support for the latest Republican plan to repeal it.

Now, I suspect some GOP senators and their allies will argue that the Public Policy Polling survey paints an incomplete picture. After all, Graham-Cassidy is still very new after having been introduced last week. Maybe, the argument goes, the American mainstream will love the Republican bill once the public gets to know it a little better. Perhaps this is simply a matter of a good plan making a bad first impression?

No. For one thing, we've seen months of polling on various Republican repeal plans, and while the various proposals have been different, Americans' attitudes have been quite consistent: the public is not on board with the GOP's regressive efforts to overhaul the system.

For another, the fact that Graham-Cassidy is new isn't much of an excuse. Republicans have had seven years to craft their alternative to the Affordable Care Act and sell the public on their plan's merits. Whose fault is it that GOP officials are trying to ram through a ridiculous and unpopular bill in just two weeks?