Health and Science

The GOP's health-care bill is a polling disaster, with voters much more likely to punish Senators who support it

Key Points
  • Three new polls show high levels of disapproval for the American Health Care Act.
  • The bill would lead to 23 million more people becoming uninsured, an official analysis found.
  • The Senate is considering drafting its own version of the bill.
Dozens of health care activists protest in front of a Harlem charter school before the expected visit of House Speaker Paul Ryan on May 9, 2017 in New York City.
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The Republican bill to replace key parts of Obamacare is hugely unpopular with the American public.

A series of polls showing widespread unhappiness with the GOP bill have been released, just as Congress heads into a week-long recess that will give lawmakers opportunities to hear, at home, what their constituents think about that legislation.

Those lawmakers include a group of senators who in recent weeks have been meeting regularly to discuss crafting their own version of a bill to make big changes to the Affordable Care Act.

The current version of the replacement bill, which was approved by just a single-vote margin by the House on May 4, received Wednesday a sobering analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO found that if the bill becomes law 23 million more Americans would be uninsured by 2026, and that people with pre-existing health conditions, as well as older Americans, could face sharply higher insurance costs.

One new poll found that just 20 percent of voters said they would be more likely to vote for a senator or member of the House who supported the current version of the bill.

Ryan: Bill won't force young families to overpay for care

But 44 percent of voters they they would be less likely to vote for a member of Congress who backed the bill, according to that poll from Quinnipiac University.

The same Quinnipiac Poll found that 57 percent of voters disapprove of the bill, known as the American Health Care Act. Just 20 percent of voters approve of the bill.

"Advisory to Republicans who support the replacement for Obamacare: Backing this bill could be very hazardous to your political health," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. The poll questioned 1,404 voters, and had a margin of error of 3 percent.

The Q-Poll's findings were mirrored by those of another survey, the Harvard-Harris poll, which found that 55 percent of voters see the AHCA as a step backward.

But support for the bill was higher in the Harvard-Harris poll, which found that 45 percent of voters see it as a step forward.

That said, 57 percent of respondents told the poll they want significant changes made to the bill by the Senate. The working group of senators reviewing the bill has indicated that their version will look greatly different from the House version.

Mark Penn, co-director of the poll, told, "The voters want to neither go back to Obamacare nor to the House bill."

"The Senate is going to have to thread the needle here and craft a new compromise," said Penn, whose poll questions 2,006 voters. The poll's methodology does not have a traditional margin of error, according to

A third poll came from Hart Research Associates, which was commissioned to survey 1,005 voters online by Protect Our Care, an Obamacare-defense group.

That poll found that just 40 percent of voters have a favorable impression of the bill, compared to 54 percent with an unfavorable impression.

However, support for the bill worsened after respondents were told about provisions in the measure that would lead to some older insurance customers and people with pre-existing conditions facing higher health plan premiums, as well as about a big tax cut in the bill for wealthy Americans.

After hearing that, 65 percent of respondents said they saw the bill unfavorably, compared to 35 percent who viewed it favorably, according to the poll, which had a margin of error of 3 percent.

A total of 62 percent of voters said they wanted to see the Senate "work on a new bill that keeps what works and fixes what doesn't in the [Affordable Care Act] rather than repealing the law altogether," according to a summary of the results from Hart Research.

Watch: CBO scores new health care bill

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