“On World Cancer Day, we pause and reflect. For too long this devastating disease has caused untold pain and suffering without regard for circumstance. One of today’s main goals is to encourage further governmental action to fight cancer; sadly, we know our country could be doing more.
“Over the past year, President Trump unveiled a budget which cut $1 billion from the National Cancer Institute, as well as a twenty percent cut for the National Institutes of Health; he hosted a White House celebration for a GOP bill the American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network said contained ‘numerous provisions [which] would adversely impact access to adequate and affordable health insurance coverage for cancer patients and survivors,’ including the re-implementation of lifetime caps, increased costs tied to pre-existing conditions, and penalties for those with coverage gaps; and he signed legislation repealing the individual mandate, which ACS-CAN explained ‘leaves cancer patients, survivors and all those with serious illnesses at risk of being priced out of the individual health insurance market.’
“On this World Cancer Day, let us unite as a nation to affirm our support for a health care system that provides the best care possible for those with cancer and bans discrimination against cancer survivors, and keep working toward a cure.”
As Congressional Republicans retreated to West Virginia to discuss their plans for 2018, they were greeted by protesters who are furious about the GOP’s ongoing war on health care. Hundreds of protesters greeted Vice President Pence at the airport, lined up along the President’s motorcade route, and made sure every Member of Congress in attendance knew just how furious voters are about their party’s health care sabotage:
The protesters made clear just how devastating the GOP’s health care attacks would be to West Virginia:
“An issue on the minds — and signs — of many of the protesters was health care. Hanno Kirk, 78, of Lewisburg, said his main concern as a health care provider is the 230,000 people in West Virginia who are in danger of losing health insurance if the GOP succeeds in dismantling the Affordable Care Act. ‘It’s totally misguided to attempt to do away with the ACA simply because it’s called ‘Obamacare,’ Kirk said, noting he used to be a ‘liberal Republican in Washington, D.C., back when there was such a thing as a liberal Republican.’ Stephen Josephine Fritsch of Harrisburg, Pa., the daughter of a combat veteran, said it appears the values her father fought for are slipping away. ‘This is America,’ she said. ‘It should be we the America, not me the America.’ Fritsch expressed concern about the state of U.S. health care under GOP leadership.”
“‘Well, we have a lot of issues in West Virginia,’ said psychotherapist and protester Hanno Kirk. ‘As a healthcare provider, I am acutely aware how many of my patients are reliant on Medicaid and Medicare and CHIPS. And if those two are eliminated, as there is a threat to that, we would have a huge number of uninsured people.’” [WVVA, 1/31]
Protesters gathered at Senator Moore-Capito’s office ahead of Congressional Republicans’ arrival:
Protesters are hitting the streets in Charleston, a day ahead of the GOP retreat at The Greenbrier, to voice their concerns about cuts to health care and Medicaid. A rally Wednesday evening included people from all over the eastern U.S. gathering in Charleston, including one woman from as far away as Vermont. It is a test run for a bigger demonstration on Thursday in Greenbrier County. By the end of the night Wednesday, the group is expecting about 500 advocates in town — standing together against Medicaid and health care cuts. [WSAZ, 1/31]
They met Vice President Pence at the Charleston airport:
“‘We’re just ready for that change,’ Debbie Naeter says. She’s right outside the Greenbrier Valley Airport gates with protestors prepared to welcome Vice President Pence with their concerns. ‘It’s health care, and fracking, and equality, and being nice again,’ she says.” [WDBJ, 1/31]
Engaged activists traveled from all over the country to make their voices heard:
“Protesters came from all over the United States. WDBJ7’s Sara Machi spoke with protesters from West Virginia, New York City, Charlotte, and Arkansas. Many protesters present Thursday said they have decided to protest because of issues important to them. These issues include immigration, healthcare, the recent tax bill, clean water, and other issues.” [WDBJ, 2/1]
As Paul Ryan raised the specter of “entitlement reform” inside, protesters at the gates of the five-star resort raised awareness about the GOP’s proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid:
“President Donald Trump’s address to Republican congressmen at The Greenbrier resort in southern West Virginia has drawn several hundred protesters with signs and chants criticizing him and calling for living wages, protecting Medicaid and Medicare, defending immigrants and decrying hate speech.” [AP, 2/1]
The bottom line from protesters: Enough is enough. It’s time to stop the Republican war on our care.
“While President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence plan to attend a GOP congressional retreat in West Virginia, some health care advocates plan to attend rallies to protest Medicaid and health care cuts… Organizers said in a news release that West Virginia health care advocates would join more than 500 people gathering to protest and send a message ‘that any cuts to health care — the issue expected to top the GOP’s agenda — will be met with a fierce nationwide fight.’” [WCHS, 1/31]
Lest anyone be confused, they made clear what the protests were really about:
“Sammi Brown, the federal campaigns director for Our Children, Our Future, said this started after activists in Greenbrier County reached out to individual groups, and word of the action reached organizations in West Virginia and other states shortly afterward. ‘It is folks all along the East Coast that are standing in solidarity with West Virginia. We are expecting upwards of 600 people tomorrow to march with us,’ she said. Brown said the protest was not about Trump but rather the agenda of what she called ‘attacking health care.’” [West Virginia Metro News, 1/31]
And Vice President Pence found one special health care protester – West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. After Pence chided him for not voting for the GOP tax scam, which kicked millions of Americans off of their coverage, Manchin hit back:
As President Trump, Vice President Pence and GOP Members of Congress were shown upon their arrival in West Virginia, Americans, from local organizers to United States senators are furious about their repeal and sabotage memo. They’re furious over their weakening of the Affordable Care Act; they’re furious over their attempts to gut Medicare and Medicaid; and they’re furious over their unnecessary attacks on America’s health care system. And if they don’t stop, it’s only going to get worse.
Enough is enough – it’s time for the GOP to end their war on health care.
In response to the news that residents of Oregon approved Measure 101, a ballot measure which keeps in place a previously-passed legislative tax package to fund the state’s Medicaid expansion, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:
“Tonight’s result shows that the American people are expressing vehement opposition to the Republican war on our health care. Oregon Republicans worked to put Measure 101 on the ballot, which could have denied health care to thousands of their fellow citizens; instead, Oregonians resoundingly defeated the Republican attempt to jeopardize funding for Medicaid expansion, showing yet again that voters value critical health care programs and reject Republican attempts to sabotage them. This vote follows similar election results across the country, from Virginia to Wisconsin, where health care has played a decisive role in the defeat of Republicans. Voters from coast to coast continue to make their support for Medicaid clear – Republicans who continue sabotaging health care should be wary.”
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll asked Americans about the policies which took precedent during President Trump’s first year in office, and reached a key conclusion: Americans are most united about health care, and they are united in opposition to the GOP agenda.
Asked if keeping “Obamacare” was a good thing for the country, 57 percent of respondents said yes – a significantly higher percentage than any other policy. Meanwhile, just one policy was underwater: the Republican tax scam, which kicked millions of people off of their insurance and was opposed 46% – 34%.
This polling echoes results in a January Hart Research survey, which found that health care far exceeds any other issue as an important driver of voting preferences, with over half of all voters identifying health care as one of their top priorities in the 2018 congressional elections. A majority of those surveyed expressed strong disapproval for the health care policies pushed by the GOP:
And just last week in Wisconsin, voters made their voices heard at the polls that matter most — the ballot box — by electing pro-ACA Democrat Patty Schachtner, who defeated her Republican opponent by nine points in a district that supported Donald Trump by 17 points just 15 months ago. That win follows off-year November elections where voters’ support for health care swept Democrats to victory across the country.
The polling is clear and so are the electoral results: the GOP’s health care has never been less popular. If Republicans want to stave the wave in 2018, they must abandon their sabotage-and-repeal health care agenda.
This morning, Sen. Ron Johnson held a hearing at his Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee ostensibly to discuss the opioid epidemic. Instead, it quickly delved into a showing of right-wing talking points, falsely claiming that Medicaid expansion – ensuring more access to health care – is causing this epidemic.
What are the problems with this Republican theory?
CDC: “There Is No Evidence Medicaid Leads To Opioid Abuse.” “The Republican argument is flawed because the Medicaid expansion began in 2014, and opioid addiction was declared an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011. The federal science agency has also said there is no evidence that Medicaid leads to opioid abuse.” [Newsweek, 1/17/18]
Vox: “This Claim Runs Into A Basic Problem: The Concept Of Time.” “But this claim runs into a basic problem: the concept of time. Medicaid didn’t expand under Obamacare until 2014 — well after opioid overdose deaths started rising (in the late 1990s), after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011 declared the crisis an epidemic, and as the crisis became more about illicit opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl, rather than conventional opioid painkillers. ‘It’s pretty ridiculous,’ Andrew Kolodny, an opioid policy expert at Brandeis University who’s scheduled to testify at the Senate hearing, told me.” [Vox, 1/17/18]
David Wyman, Georgetown University Law Center: “Just Because A Precedes B Doesn’t Mean That A Causes B. That’s Statistics 101.” “The witnesses included one anti-Medicaid ideologue, two local prosecutors who testified that they’ve seen a lot of addicts in their work and lots of them seem to be on Medicaid, and two experts who, tactlessly, pointed out that the causes of the opioid epidemic are many and complex, that it started years before Medicaid expansion, and that it involves patients and doctors in Medicare and private insurance as well as the uninsured… Efforts to demonize Medicaid expansion because it was launched as the opioid crisis really took off confuse correlation with causation, David Hyman of the Georgetown University Law Center warned Johnson’s committee. ‘Just because A precedes B doesn’t mean that A causes B,’ he said. ‘That’s statistics 101.’” [Los Angeles Times, 1/17/18]
Do Republicans pushing this theory have any actual evidence to back it up?
Washington Post: “They’ve Not Been Able To Prove Medicaid Actually Leads To Opioid Abuse. On The Contrary, [Medicaid Expansion] Has Given More Americans Access To Addiction Treatment.” “So, who’s right here? There’s little data to draw from, since Medicaid was expanded only recently under the ACA. But while conservatives have noted that overdose deaths are much higher among people inside the program than those outside it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they’ve not been able to prove Medicaid actually leads to opioid abuse. On the contrary, as Medicaid advocates note, expanding the program to include childless adults earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level has given more Americans access to addiction treatment. The program, which provided coverage to 3 in 10 people dealing with opioid addiction in 2015, covers outpatient treatment and inpatient detoxification, among other services, for substance use disorder.” [Washington Post, 1/17/18]
Could this theory lead to drastic conclusions which are squarely at odds with public health?
Katherine Baicker, University Of Chicago Harris School Of Public Policy Dean: “I Don’t Think Anybody Would Suggest Because Overprescribing Of Opioids Poses A Series Health Risk, People Shouldn’t Go See The Doctor.” “If [Republicans] argue against Medicaid based on the idea that it potentially allows more patients to get prescriptions for opioids, they could use that same reasoning to oppose expansion of private health insurance. Expanding health insurance of any variety increases people’s access to health care. Much of that care is beneficial; some may not be, Katherine Baicker, dean of the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, told me. ‘I don’t think anybody would suggest because overprescribing of opioids poses a series health risk, people shouldn’t go see the doctor,’ Baicker said.” [Washington Post, 1/17/18]
What did the hearing accomplish?
Los Angeles Times: Wednesday’s Hearing “Showed How Threadbare [Republicans’] Arguments Are.” “The Republican campaign against Medicaid could only make the opioid crisis worse. That’s because Medicaid pays for a huge proportion of opioid treatments, covering fully one-third of those with addiction problems. Most of that spending is in expansion states — in fact, it’s possible that the prevalance of opioid addiction in some states may have helped prompt them to accept expansion (another example of how the relationship between addiction and Medicaid may have been misread). The necessity of continuing Medicaid expansion to address the opioid crisis was made forcibly by Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, both Republicans, last year when congressional Republicans were working hard to eviscerate the program. Johnson and his fellow Republicans in Congress seem determined to impose cuts on the program, even though the benefits it renders are crystal-clear. Wednesday’s hearing did achieve one benefit, for all that: It showed how threadbare their arguments are.” [Los Angeles Times, 1/17/18]
Ultimately then, why did this hearing take place?
Newsweek: Sen. Johnson “Read An Article In Commentary, A Neoconservative Magazine.” “But in the end, even Senator Johnson acknowledged that the purpose of the hearing was a bit baffling. ‘People may be scratching their heads saying, ‘Why is Department of Homeland Security holding a hearing on the opioid crisis and Medicaid?’’ he said at the beginning of the meeting. He went on to explain that he had read an article in Commentary, a neoconservative magazine, that piqued his interest on the topic and asked his staff to compile a report and schedule a hearing on the topic.” [Newsweek, 1/17/18]
Most importantly, does this theory have the potential to cause significant damage to a population in urgent need of care?
Vox: “Republicans May Be In Fact Undermining A Potential Solution To The Overdose Crisis.” “Other evidence, meanwhile, suggests that Medicaid could actually act as a solution to the opioid crisis — because Medicaid, by expanding access to addiction treatment, could help stem the tide of addiction and overdose deaths. So by using this new hearing and report to potentially attack Medicaid, Republicans may be in fact undermining a potential solution to the overdose crisis.” [Vox, 1/17/18]
So there you have it. While millions of Americans struggle with the scourge of opioid addiction, and the White House leaves this epidemic in the hands of a lying, underqualified 24-year-old, Sen. Johnson continues to pontificate right-wing talking points he read in a magazine. Perhaps moving forward he’ll listen to the experts instead of pushing forward a false, ideologically-driven narrative that harms Americans.
Last night, Democrat Patty Schachtner, the chief medical examiner of St. Croix County, Wisconsin, won a special election for an open state Senate seat by 9 points. Voters in the district supported Donald Trump by 17 points just 15 months ago, and the seat had not been held by a Democrat since the turn of the century.
One of the big issues in the race was health care, and below is an example of direct mail Schachtner’s campaign used extensively to highlight the consequences of the GOP’s health care repeal. Just like in Virginia, where health care was the top issue for voters and Democrats came away victorious, voters are rejecting Republicans who embrace the GOP war on health care. In fact, recent national polling conducted by Hart Research and Protect Our Care found that health care was the number one issue among voters surveyed.
If Republicans want to stop losing, they should stop their war on health care.
Washington, DC – After Congressional Republicans released a Continuing Resolution proposal that takes aim at Affordable Care Act provisions while ignoring critical expired health care programs, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:
“Today’s Continuing Resolution proposal from Congressional Republicans shows that they care more about taking potshots at the Affordable Care Act and providing tax giveaways to big corporations than they do about being sure that community health centers and hospitals serving low-income people have the funds they desperately need just to keep their doors open. Republicans should be ashamed that they have once again put tens of thousands of Americans’ health care at risk in order to continue their partisan war on the Affordable Care Act and keep giving tax breaks to big corporations.”
Today’s Republican Continuing Resolution includes delays of the Affordable Care Act’s medical device, high-cost plan (Cadillac), and health insurance (HIT) taxes.
The CR does not include funding for Community Health Centers or Disproportionate Share Hospitals — essential sources of care for millions of Americans — which expired last October, causing some of these critical provider systems to now face threats of closure.
From: Brad Woodhouse, Campaign Director, Protect Our Care
Subject: Enough is Enough: the Trump Administration’s Sabotage of Our Health Care Must Stop
Date: January 16, 2018
Since taking office last year, President Trump, his Administration, and allies in Congress have waged an unrelenting war against our health care. Their twin weapons have been repeal and sabotage: the innocent victims, the American people. Their agenda takes health care away from millions, raises premiums by double digits for millions more, guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions and attempts to destroy the insurance markets.
As research released today by Gallup shows, the consequences of the GOP agenda of sabotage are abundantly clear – President Trump has overseen the largest-ever one-year increase in the uninsured rate since Gallup began tracking:
The percentage of U.S. adults without health insurance was essentially unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2017, at 12.2%, but it is up 1.3 percentage points from the record low of 10.9% found in the last quarter of 2016. The 1.3-point increase in the uninsured rate during 2017 is the largest single-year increase Gallup and Sharecare have measured since beginning to track the rate in 2008, including the period before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect. That 1.3 point increase represents an estimated 3.2 million Americans who entered the ranks of the uninsured in 2017.
As the Obama Administration came to a close after the fourth quarter of 2016, the uninsured rate reached an all-time low. When the Trump Administration took over, it had all the tools it needed to continue that progress and keep driving down the uninsured rate. Instead, as last week’s bombshell report from POLITICO revealed, Trump’s HHS did the opposite:
Early last year, as an Obamacare repeal bill was flailing in the House, top Trump administration officials showed select House conservatives a secret road map of how they planned to gut the health care law using executive authority. The March 23 document, which had not been public until now, reveals that while the effort to scrap Obamacare often looked chaotic, top officials had actually developed an elaborate plan to undermine the law — regardless of whether Congress repealed it.
Top administration officials had always said they would eradicate the law through both legislative and executive actions, but they never provided the public with anything close to the detailed blueprint shared with the members of the House Freedom Caucus, whose confidence — and votes — President Donald Trump was trying to win at the time. The blueprint, built off the executive order to minimize Obamacare’s “economic burden,” which Trump signed just hours after taking the oath of office, shows just how advanced the administration’s plans to unwind the law were — plans that would become far more important after the legislative efforts to repeal Obamacare failed.
President Trump famously said “the best thing we can do…is let Obamacare explode,” and “let it be a disaster because we can blame that on the Democrats.” But the newly revealed HHS document shows just how low this Administration is willing to go in order to sabotage the law – literally putting on paper a calculated plan to take away health insurance from Americans. The plan went high up: according to POLITICO, the document was “a key part” of a meeting with Speaker Paul Ryan and former HHS Secretary Tom Price, whose job was ostensibly to protect the health of the American people. President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are not simply letting Obamacare fail – they are making Obamacare fail.
The increase in the uninsured rate is the most clear evidence yet that Republicans’ sabotage plan is having its intended effect: taking away Americans’ coverage. Here are some of the other ways the Trump Administration sabotaged health care in 2017:
On his first day in office, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing the administration to find any ways they could to unravel the Affordable Care Act.
The Trump Administration cut the number of days people could sign up for coverage during open enrollment by half, from 90 days to 45 days.
House Republicans voted for and passed a health care repeal bill that causes 23 million people to lose coverage and guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
The Administration cut the outreach advertising budget for open enrollment by 90 percent, from $100 million to just $10 million – likely to result in 1.1 million fewer people getting covered. Advertising is a critical way for people to know when and how they can get covered.
Republicans refused to move forward on the bipartisan Alexander-Murray bill even though it had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.
Senate Republicans tried but failed to pass BCRA, Skinny Repeal and Graham-Cassidy, all of which would cause millions to lose their health coverage and raise premiums by double digits for millions more.
The Administration ordered the Department of Health and Human Services’ regional directors to stop participating in open enrollment events. Mississippi Health Advocacy Program Executive Director Roy Mitchell said, “I didn’t call it sabotage…But that’s what it is.”
The Administration dramatically cut in-person assistance that helped people sign up for 2018 coverage.
The Trump administration took direct aim at birth control by rolling back a rule that guaranteed women access to contraception. (A court has since delayed their effort.)
After threatening for months to stop funding cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) that help lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, the Trump Administration stopped CSR payments altogether in October. The CBO found failing to make these payments would increase premiums by 20 percent and add nearly $200 billion to the debt.
President Trump signed an Executive Order that would roll back key protections and result in garbage insurance, raise premiums, reduce coverage and expose millions of Americans again to discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
House and Senate Republicans repealed the individual mandate in their tax bill in order to pay for massive tax breaks to the ultra wealthy and big corporations. CBO predicts millions will lose coverage and premiums will go up double digits.
And they aren’t done yet. Just last week the Trump Administration announced so-called “work requirements” to Medicaid, which will have the effect of removing millions of Americans – nearly all of whom are already working – from their health insurance. And Republicans have promised to go after Medicare, which insures 44 million Americans, and have their sights on the Affordable Care Act, too.
While the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress want to keep up this war on health care in 2018, the American people are saying “Enough is Enough.” Nearly 9 million people just signed up for coverage through HealthCare.gov despite all the sabotage efforts. The Affordable Care Act is more popular than it has ever been. And millions of people across the country made their voices heard at rallies, town halls and through calling their Member of Congress to fight these repeal efforts.
Our newly completed survey among a representative national cross section of voters clearly shows that healthcare will be a defining issue in the 2018 elections and the healthcare policies of President Trump and the Republican Congress will be a very significant liability for GOP candidates.
These findings are based on 1,000 interviews nationwide conducted January 3 to 7, 2018, among a sample of 2016 voters, 49% of whom say they voted for Hillary Clinton and 46% of whom say they voted for President Trump.
1. Healthcare far exceeds any other issue as an important driver of voting preferences, with over half of all voters identifying healthcare as one of their top priorities in the 2018 congressional elections.
Fully 54% choose healthcare as one of the two issues that will be the most important to them in deciding how to vote for Congress, compared with 29% for the economy, 28% for taxes, 18% for immigration, 18% for education, 17% for government spending, 12% for national defense, and 11% for terrorism.
These results highlight the durability of healthcare as a powerful concern for voters, even when healthcare legislation is not front and center in the news. In our two previous readings in May 2017 and August 2017, 55% and 57% respectively selected healthcare as one of their top two issues.
Healthcare is the most frequently cited priority among Democrats (68%), independents (54%), and Republicans (38%). It is particularly important to African-American voters (66%) and to white women voters, whether they are college graduates (62%) or non-college graduates (59%).
2. Along with the tax bill, healthcare policies are a top-of-mind reason that many voters disapprove of the job Republicans are doing as the majority party in Congress. Indeed, there is widespread disapproval of Republicans in Congress with regard to their handling of healthcare, even among many rank-and-file Republican voters.
Even after the passage of the tax bill, fully 61% of voters disapprove of the job Republicans are doing as the majority party in Congress. When those who disapprove are asked to volunteer why, they most frequently mention Republican tax policies (43%), Republican healthcare policies (36%), and the Republicans’ general lack of concern for average Americans (11%).
While disapproval for the Republicans’ overall performance is high, disapproval for the GOP’s performance on healthcare is even higher (72%). Negative opinions about the way Republicans in Congress have handled healthcare cross party lines, with 93% of Democrats, 78% of independents, and 45% of rank-and-file Republicans expressing disapproval.
3. Republicans’ efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act are unpopular with voters and a political drag on them in this election year. Democrats increase their electoral advantage when they highlight their position of making improvements in the ACA while keeping what works. And it is clear that continued GOP efforts to repeal the ACA will exacerbate their political problems, given that two-thirds of voters agree on this issue that, “enough is enough.”
Just 35% of voters say they have a favorable opinion of the bills proposed by Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, while 52% have an unfavorable opinion of them. By 47% to 38%, voters say they would be less likely to reelect their members of Congress if they voted for the bills by President Trump and Republicans in Congress to repeal and replace the ACA. Voters who are undecided on how to vote for Congress this year say by 12 points that they would be less likely to reelect someone who voted for repeal and replace.
Additionally, the poll results indicate that there is widespread frustration with Republicans’ repetitive efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Fully 68% of voters agree with this statement: “Enough is enough—President Trump and the Republicans in Congress should stop trying to repeal and undermine the Affordable Care Act and start working across party lines on commonsense solutions that build on the current law.” Fifty-three percent (53%) strongly agree. There has been a 10-point increase in the share of voters who see President Trump as actively trying to make the Affordable Care Act fail (to 52%, with 28% saying he is not trying to make it fail and 20% not sure). By 55% to 45%, voters say problems with the Affordable Care Act are occurring mainly because Trump and Republicans in Congress are trying to sabotage the law rather than because it is a bad law.
As other polls have shown, Democrats head into the 2018 midterm elections with a clear advantage. In this poll, among all voters who cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election, Democrats have a seven-point margin (44% Democrat, 37% Republican) in a generic trial heat. The Democrats’ true advantage likely will be much greater, given that 75% of Clinton voters say they are certain to vote in 2018, compared with just 60% of Trump voters.
An election that focuses on healthcare and GOP repeal efforts would widen the Democrats’ margin. When given a choice between a Democrat who wants to keep what works in the Affordable Care Act and make improvements in it and a Republican who wants to repeal and replace Obamacare, voters prefer the Democrat by 18 points (59% to 41%). Those who are undecided in the generic trial heat prefer the Democrat in this match-up by 68% to 32%.
4. The Republicans have a long list of severe vulnerabilities on healthcare that go beyond their repeated efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and their healthcare policies on many fronts create very major concerns among large majorities of voters. These are the highest testing criticisms of the healthcare policies of President Trump and the Republicans in Congress.
These are the highest testing criticisms of the healthcare policies of President Trump and the Republicans in Congress.
Sixty-nine percent (69%) of women voters voice very major concerns about GOP policies that would allow insurance companies to charge women more than men for their health insurance. Other Trump policies are widely rejected by voters. The reaction is especially negative, for example, when voters are informed that, “the Trump administration is allowing insurance companies to sell plans that do not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act because they do not have to cover essential health benefits such as cancer treatments and maternity care and can deny coverage altogether for preexisting conditions.” Three quarters of all voters disapprove of this policy, including 53% who strongly disapprove.
5. The litany of bad Republican policies on healthcare ladders up to a very damaging overarching narrative for the GOP. Indeed, a large majority agree that the sum of the Trump-GOP policies shows that there is a “Republican war on healthcare.” Just as important, the healthcare issue focuses attention on two dominant weaknesses for the Republicans—their reputation for catering to special interests, and their support for a tax bill that gave huge cuts to the wealthy and large corporations.
Seventy-four percent (74%) of voters agree with the following statement, including 51% who strongly agree: “When you add it all up—taking away coverage from millions of people, weakening protections for people with preexisting conditions, allowing insurance companies to charge more if you are older or a woman, and making big cuts to Medicare and Medicaid—there is a Republican war on healthcare today.” Even 48% of Trump voters agree that there is a Republican war on healthcare.
The notion of a Republican war on healthcare is credible to voters because it speaks to two other important conclusions voters have about Republicans:
They take huge amounts of campaign funding from the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry, and they are catering to the special interests that give them money (77% say this is believable, including 51% who say it is very believable).
They want to cut funding for healthcare in order to pay for the huge tax cuts they passed for the wealthy and large corporations (72% say this is believable, including 48% who say it is very believable).
While voters also believe that Republicans in Congress are motivated by a desire to undo everything that President Obama did while he was in office, even more concerning to them are the GOP’s focus on cutting taxes for the wealthy and the large corporations and its desire to cater to the special interests that fund their campaigns.
WASHINGTON, DC – After Politico released a late-night bombshell report revealing that the Trump Administration left a paper trail of their plans to sabotage health care, Protect Our Care Campaign Chairman Leslie Dach released the following statement:
“President Trump left behind a smoking gun in this newly revealed document, and now Americans can see beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Republican plot to sabotage our care started on Day One of this Administration. This newly revealed document confirms what we knew all along – Republicans never had any plan to improve health care for Americans; they always intended to rip apart affordable coverage and vital insurance protections root and branch. After today, President Trump and Congressional Republicans can no longer deny the truth: from the outset, they were hell-bent on waging a spiteful war against Americans’ health care.”