Politics

GOP Leadership’s Health Care Bill on the Brink

Support wanes in Congress and with the public for Obamacare repeal, replace plan

The number of American voters who approve of a health care reform bill pushed by Republican leaders dropped from 46 percent last week to 41 percent this week, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday.

Despite President Donald Trump’s and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) efforts to sell the American Health Care Act, support for the bill appears to be waning with both voters and GOP lawmakers. The poll, conducted Thursday through Sunday, found that the number of voters who disapproved of the bill rose from 35 percent last week to 38 percent this week.

“Republicans in Congress are in a tough position right now, but our polling indicates that voters are willing to give them more time to get it right.”

“Not only has approval in the [American Health Care Act] decreased since the [Congressional Budget Office] score came out, Americans think Congress is moving too quickly on health care reform,” said Morning Consult co-founder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp, according to Politico. “Republicans in Congress are in a tough position right now, but our polling indicates that voters are willing to give them more time to get it right.”

The poll surveyed 1,927 registered voters and found that 43 percent believe House Republicans “are moving too fast and need to take more time to examine other proposals.” While 17 percent indicated the House is “going about the right speed on health care reform,” 18 percent insist that health care reform measures need “to be passed as soon as possible.”

Just 17 percent of those polled said they strongly approve of the bill, whereas 22 percent strongly disapprove of the House GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

With the House vote set for Thursday, Trump and Ryan are running out of time to win converts. Republican leaders can only afford 21 GOP member defections in the House in order for it to pass. Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) told radio host John Fredericks Wednesday he believes the AHCA will “pass by one vote.” Collins noted that the House needs 218 votes and currently only holds 210 “locked in” the day before the vote.

But according to a Whip List from The Hill, 22 House Republicans still oppose the ACHA.

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“I think we’ll get it by one vote, because I think there may be some arm-twisting where someone says ‘I don’t want to vote for it, but I am on the team … if you need my vote I’ll do it, but if you don’t I won’t,'” Collins said. “If somebody doesn’t have to, they’ll vote no … it’ll be a one-vote victory any which way you look at it.”

As for the Republicans — particularly conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus — Collins warned they are “about to torpedo our entire party and the presidency of Donald J. Trump.”

“If you satisfy one Freedom Caucus member, you lose three other members,” Collins added. “I’m just frustrated, as are many of my other fellow Republicans here, and I just hope they see the light or there’s enough arm-twisting that they come on board.”

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