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Just 17 Percent Of Americans Approve Of Republican Senate Health Care Bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-K.Y. (left), and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, speak to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

Americans broadly disapprove of the Senate GOP's health care bill, and they're unhappy with how Republicans are handling the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Just 17 percent of those surveyed say they approve of the Senate's health care plan, the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Fifty-five percent say they disapprove, while about a quarter said they hadn't heard enough about the proposal to have an opinion on it.

With mounting defections within the GOP caucus over the bill, leaders decided to delay a vote on the legislation until after Congress returns from next week's July Fourth recess.

A Congressional Budget Office analysis released Monday found that if the bill were enacted, 22 million fewer people would have health insurance over the next decade due, in part, to the bill's rollback of Medicaid expansion.

"With numbers like these, it's not surprising the Republican leadership in Congress is having a difficult time building consensus," said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

While Democratic opposition to the bill, as expected, is high, GOP support for the Senate GOP's plan is very soft. Twenty-one percent of Republicans oppose the bill and just 35 percent support it. Sixty-eight percent of independents also oppose the proposed legislation.

In fact, while many Americans want changes to the ACA, also known as Obamacare, they want it to be more far-reaching. A 46 percent plurality say they want to see the ACA do more, while just 7 percent want it to do less. Keeping the ACA and having it do less is essentially what GOP congressional plans are doing.

Only 17 percent want the 2010 bill left intact and unchanged, while a quarter of Americans want it repealed completely — including just over half of Republicans.

If Congress doesn't go through with a repeal of the ACA, 37 percent of Americans said they would blame Republicans in Congress, while 23 percent would blame Democrats, and 15 percent would blame President Trump.

Among Republicans, Trump wouldn't bear the brunt of the blame if Congress is unable to repeal and replace Obamacare. Just 6 percent would blame him, and half said they would blame congressional Democrats. Another 20 percent said they would blame GOP lawmakers.

The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll surveyed 1,205 adults from June 21-25, 2017, contacted by live interviewers using a mix of landline and mobile numbers. There is a ± 2.8 percentage points margin of error. A sub-sample of 995 registered voters were also surveyed, with a ± 3.1 percentage points margin of error.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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