Becker1999 (Paul and Cathy) / Flickr dont let them kill sign...
Becker1999 (Paul and Cathy) / Flickr

We know that the Republican healthcare bill is extremely unpopular. But some historical context helps us understand how unpopular it really is:

The Republican health care effort is the most unpopular legislation in three decades — less popular than the Affordable Care Act when it was passed, the widely hated Troubled Asset Relief Program bank bailout bill in 2008, and even President Bill Clinton’s failed health reform effort in the 1990s. That’s the verdict from MIT’s Chris Warshaw, who compiled polling data from the Roper Center on major legislation Congress has passed since 1990. […]

It’s rare for Congress to move ahead with legislation when the signs are this clear that the public doesn’t want it. Clinton’s health care plan never got a floor vote in the House or Senate, and neither did President George W. Bush’s plan to partially privatize Social Security. (It’s not included in Warshaw’s data, but the Social Security plan only had 46 percent support in February 2005 and seniors were overwhelmingly opposed, according to the Pew Research Center.)

So here’s a bill that’s not just less popular than bills that passed and then formed the basis for campaigns to defeat the members of Congress who voted for them. It’s also less popular than bills that never got a vote because they were so unpopular. But Republicans are still pushing it, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is just starting to admit that he might need a fallback plan, even as some congressional Republicans keep trying to make the bill worse

No matter how many voters are expressing their desire to kick its corpse, this bill is not dead yet, because that’s how Republicans roll these days. But we can let them know that if they pass this—or a version with a few little tweaks that still leaves millions without coverage—they will pay.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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