Survey: GOP Health Bill Pleases Most Republicans, But Not Many Other Americans

Poll finds American Health Care Act even less popular than PPACA

The health care overhaul passed by the House earlier this month is even less popular than the not-very-popular Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that it would largely replace, according to a poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

In the new survey, 49% of respondents said they had a favorable view of the PPACA, whereas 31% said they favored the GOP’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), which narrowly passed the House on May 4.

In a mirror image of the PPACA’s standing with the public, more than two-thirds of Republicans said they supported their party’s health plan, while more Democrats (78%) favored the PPACA.

The new findings reflect those of other polls conducted since the House passed the GOP’s revised health care bill. A Quinnipiac University survey released on May 25 found that 20% of respondents supported the AHCA compared with 57% opposition. A poll conducted by Morning Consult and Politico just after the bill passed found that 38% of respondents supported the GOP measure and 44% opposed it.

In the KFF poll, even Republicans showed scant support for changes to some of the PPACA’s most-popular provisions. Fewer than one-fifth of Republicans favored changing the provision that limits how much more insurers can charge older people for insurance compared with younger people, and 22% of Republicans favored letting insurers charge sick people higher premiums if they have a break in their coverage.

Most Republicans supported the bill’s provisions that would allow states to establish work requirements for Medicaid enrollees and set up high-risk insurance pools for people with health problems.

In December 2016, more respondents said the GOP bill would hurt their personal health care than thought the same about a straight repeal of the PPACA when KHH asked about that issue.

In the new poll, 45% said the GOP bill would increase their own and their family’s costs for health care, compared with the December survey, in which 28% thought that would be the result if the PPACA were repealed. More than one-third indicated that the GOP bill would make it harder to obtain and keep health insurance, compared with 21% who thought a PPACA repeal would have that consequence. Further, 34% said the GOP bill would likely make the quality of their health care worse, compared with 19% who said that about the PPACA repeal.

Nearly 75% of those surveyed said it was “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that Congress will pass and President Donald Trump will sign a bill to “repeal and replace” the PPACA.

The survey of 1,205 adults was conducted on May 16–22, 2017.

Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation; May 31, 2017; and Poll Results; May 31, 2017.