It's all a pretty stunning indictment of the GOP's failure to sell the bill. Republicans have focused like a laser on passing the legislation quickly — and secretively — in hopes of getting to a conference committee where the House and Senate can negotiate the final product. In the meantime, the American people have soured on the bill, disliking almost everything about it.
Four key findings:
- Quinnipiac asked whether people supported cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood, as the Senate bill does; people opposed that 61 percent to 35 percent at first blush and then 80 to 15 when informed that such funds cannot be used for abortion.
- The pollster asked how people felt about cutting funding for Medicaid, as the GOP bill does by some $772 billion over the next decade; people opposed that 71 percent to 24 percent.
- Suffolk asked whether people supported requiring that people with preexisting conditions pay the same as everyone else, a requirement which the Senate bill allows states to opt out of; 77 percent said that was “very important” to them.
- Quinnipiac found two-thirds of Americans said they were either “very concerned” (47 percent) or “somewhat concerned” (21 percent) that this bill was crafted almost completely behind closed doors in what some say was an unprecedentedly secretive process.
That's basically 7 in 10 Americans who oppose four central aspects of the GOP health-care push.
Perhaps as damningly, Republicans don't appear to have had much success in highlighting the more palatable aspects of their bill, such as decreasing premiums for many Americans over the long term. The Congressional Budget Office estimates premiums would go up for older and poorer people but overall would go down for most Americans. Nonetheless, Quinnipiac shows 41 percent feel their premiums would increase, while just 10 percent said they would go down.
And there is one finding I keep coming back to. The Quinnipiac poll shows nearly half of Americans (48 percent) strongly disapprove of this bill, versus just 6 percent — SIX — would strongly approve of it. Only 18 percent of Republicans support this bill and say they feel strongly about its passage.
Republicans made a calculated decision to try to pass health care quickly and without much of a public relations push. They are paying a heavy price for that.