Gage Skidmore / Flickr mitch mcconnell...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Just when you thought the approval rating for the U.S. Senate’s so-called healthcare bill could go lower—it does. The last approval I could find before today was via Washington Post at 16%, but now USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds only 12% of Americans registered voters in the poll approve, and apprehension continues to grow. The survey was taken between June 24-June 27. Fifty-three (53%) of those asked say Congress should either “leave the law known as Obamacare alone, or work to fix its problems while keeping its framework intact.”

One of those surveyed was Donald Jones, 61, from West Frankfort, Illinois. Jones is a sheriff who says he has seen the benefits and costs of Obamacare. He said he had “one relative who probably was uninsurable and was able to get insurance that they wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise,” and then added later that he had another family member whom he says was “forced to get insurance that they really can’t afford to pay.” Still, Jones doesn’t think Obamacare should be repealed and objects to Mitch McConnell and the Senate’s great rush to get a vote. Jones adds, “It has kept people from knowing enough about it.”

Regardless of the political disagreements, USA Today says “there is an overwhelming national consensus” on what healthcare plans should include. 

·      Pre-existing conditions: More than three-fourths, 77%, say it is “very important” that the health care system permit people with pre-existing medical conditions to buy health insurance at the same price as others. Just 6% say that protection isn’t important to them. The Senate bill requires insurers to accept those with pre-existing conditions, but it allows states to seek permission to reduce required benefits. Some patients could face dramatically higher costs or lifetime limits for treatments no longer defined as essential.

·      Medicaid expansion: Nearly two-thirds, 63%, say it is “very important” that lower-income people who became eligible for Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act continued to be covered by Medicaid. Just 10% say that isn’t important to them. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Senate plan, which would cut Medicaid spending by $772 billion over the next 10 years, would result in 15 million fewer people being covered.

·      Lower premiums: Close to six in 10, 57%, say it is “very important” that insurance premiums go down in price; 17% say that’s not important. The CBO predicts that premiums would rise for a few years under the Senate plan, and then fall by about 30%. But overall health care costs would go up for most people because deductibles would be higher and some states wouldn’t require insurers to provide some benefits that are now mandated.

Melinda Mckonly, 67, a retired Pennsylvanian pastor says there are many things that Obamacare includes “that helps people.” She’s driven toward Obamacare for benefits like birth control (coverage), not making women pay more for insurance than men, the supplement to those who cannot afford Medicaid, and the coverage of pre-existing conditions.

The Repeal and Replace graph shows:

  • 11% think Congress should leave Obamacare alone
  • 42% think Congress should fix Obamacare problems, but leave framework in tact
  • 30% think Congress should repeal Obamacare, but only when another health plan is ready to replace it
  • 14% Repeal Obamacare even if replacement isn’t ready
  • 3% undecided

The poll also states:

By more than 4-1, those surveyed trust congressional Democrats over congressional Republicans to protect the interests of them and their families on health care, 43%-10%. Another 19% say they trust President Trump most. The president’s ratings on handling health care far lag his standing on other issues, including the economy and national security. Twenty-seven percent approve of the job he’s doing on health care; 61% disapprove.

Those surveyed blame congressional Democrats 2% more than congressional Republicans for the healthcare gridlock. Only 16% blame Trump administration, which proves Trump and the Right Wing’s propaganda to put blame of Democrats is somewhat working. So, although Democrats seem to have more trust going for them, the media needs to be more accurate and reassuring as to which party is really to blame.

    Source: USA Today/Sufflolk University Poll of 1,000 registered voters taken June 24-June 27. Margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. George Petras, USA Today

    Read the full USA Today article here.

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


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