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Another Bad Week for Republicans on Health Care

By August 18, 2017No Comments

New Reports, Polling Data and Continued Public Backlash Show Republican Sabotage the Wrong Approach


President Trump and Republicans in Congress ran their campaigns promising to lower health care premiums and reduce costs. But it’s now clear that every part of their health care agenda will actually raise them significantly.

At the same time Republicans in Congress kept looking for legislative ways to repeal health care, the Trump administration injected uncertainty into the marketplaces by undermining implementation of the law by repeatedly threatening to default on payments that help lower out of pocket costs and deductibles, and proudly declaring its goal was to let the marketplaces fail. The Congressional Budget Office and Kaiser Family Foundation found that this sabotage and uncertainty will increase premiums by 20% and add almost $200 billion to the federal deficit. The Center for American Progress estimated that Trump’s threats alone will raise premiums as much as $2,500 next year. But that’s apparently not enough for this administration as they continue to pursue a repeal agenda in Congress and seem fully committed to sabotaging open enrollment — potentially denying millions of Americans access to affordable health coverage.

Read more about the GOP efforts to increase health care costs here.


Both the House and Senate are home for August recess, and many Republicans are facing a not-so-warm welcome. 49 Republican Senators and 217 Republican House Members voted to repeal health care — threatening health coverage for millions, gutting protections for people with pre-existing conditions and increasing premiums for American families. Their constituents are showing up at every town hall to demand an explanation or holding their own ‘empty chair’ town halls for those who refuse to talk to their constituents. Republicans who voted to take away people’s health care are facing major blowback back home and people across the country are going to continue to hold them accountable.

Coverage Highlights:


A new study of 27 national polls published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that while Republican and Democratic voters’ opinions on specific policies varied widely on health care, 72 percent of the public strongly stated that the number of people covered by Medicaid should not decline. As Jacob Leibenluft of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities pointed out, the “Combination of activism, loss aversion, increased attention to issue have really shifted whole health care debate in less than a year.”

Republican Repeal Bills Were “Extraordinarily Unpopular.” “Overall, only approximately one in four of the respondents (24%) approved of the congressional Republican plan (or plans, since they include both the plan that passed in the House and the proposals put forth in the Senate) to repeal and replace the ACA, whereas 56% disapproved. Fully one in five respondents did not have an opinion.”

72 Percent Of The Public — Across Party Lines — Opposed Medicaid Coverage Losses, Contrary To The Effect Of The Republican Health Care Repeal Bills. “A majority of the public preferred to keep the number of people covered by Medicaid the same as it is now (72%), whereas 22% wanted to reduce the number receiving Medicaid to what it was before the ACA, reducing government spending and taxes…On most specific policy issues in the debate, Republicans and Democrats disagreed, but there is one major exception. The two parties’ adherents agree that the number of people covered by Medicaid should not be reduced in any replacement bill.”

The Public Favored Providing Tax Credits To At Least The Same Number Of People Who Receive Them Today Rather Than Reducing Them, As The GOP Bills Would Have Done. “A majority of the general public did not favor changing the law so that it either provided financial assistance for the purchase of health insurance to fewer persons or reduced the number of people to be covered by Medicaid. When asked about the extent of coverage to be provided by a replacement plan, 57% of the public as a whole preferred to provide financial assistance to purchase insurance to the same number of people as the ACA does now, whereas approximately one third preferred to provide assistance to somewhat fewer people (22%) or a lot fewer people (12%) but save taxpayer money.”

Allowing Insurance Companies To Discriminate Against People With Pre-Existing Conditions And Sell Health Plans With Fewer Benefits Were Deeply Unpopular. “Approximately one third of the public (35%) believed that insurers should be allowed to offer health plans that cover fewer benefits than currently required…On the issue of ending federal health insurance regulatory protections for people who have preexisting medical conditions, less than one fourth of the public believed that insurers should be allowed to charge more for people with preexisting conditions (24%).”

“The Public Became More Supportive Of The Principle That The Federal Government Should Ensure Coverage For Them.” “Finally, the most important change over time was not the increase in public approval of the ACA, but rather the increase in overall support for universal coverage. When confronted with millions of people losing coverage, the public became more supportive of the principle that the federal government should ensure coverage for them.”