By the time Republicans abandoned their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, the bill had fallen to 17 percent in the polls, which is extremely bad. That’s the sort of thing that can happen when people on all sides of the political spectrum are criticizing a bill. President Trump and some of his allies in Congress continue to talk up the prospect of reviving their bill somehow, in some form.
But a new ABC News poll shows that the public opposes not only the Republican plan but the entire concept of repealing and replacing Obamacare. By landslide margins, the public wants Trump and Congress to keep and improve the law rather than try to replace it. And his threats to make the law implode if Democrats don’t agree to his terms are even more unpopular — 79 percent of the country wants him to make the law work, and only 13 percent wants him to make it fail:
Again, the issue for them is not that they have failed to design a bill that carries out their promise, it’s that their promise itself is deeply unpopular.
That is not even the end of the bad news. Republicans are trying to finesse their unpopular bill by letting states opt out of the law’s requirements that insurers cover minimum health-care treatments and not discriminate against people with preexisting conditions. Americans hate that idea, too:
Republicans spent years deluding themselves into believing that the public was on their side in the health-care fight. The truth is that they relied all along on posturing broadly against the status quo and promising better, cheaper health insurance with lower premiums and deductibles while opposing every mechanism to pay for it. Once they had to produce the unicorn they had promised, the whole scam has collapsed on them. A total retreat, in which they walk away from their repeal crusade and cut a deal with Democrats to make the law work better, would be humiliating. But it’s their least-bad option.