Just 33% of the public say they approve of the Senate plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare and 62% oppose it, the latest IBD/TIPP Poll finds. However, many of the specific provisions in the Senate bill get majority support.
The poll also found that President Trump's approval rating was unchanged at 37%, while the share who say they disapprove of the job he's doing increased slightly to 58% from June's 55%.
Unlike other polls, the IBD/TIPP Poll restricted its findings on the Republicans' ObamaCare replacement plans to the 77% who say they've been following the health care debate closely. While support is higher than other polls — a USA Today poll pegged support at just 12% — it is still very unpopular.
On a partisan basis, 95% of Democrats oppose the Senate bill, while 74% of Republicans approve of it. Nearly two-thirds of independents (64%) oppose the bill.
But when the poll got down to specifics in the bill, the picture changed dramatically.
"Individual aspects of the plan score better than the overall plan — reflecting the complexity of the issue. An individual may not support the plan overall, despite supporting several individual aspects of the plan. For a multifaceted issue, it is difficult to please everyone on all aspects," said Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, which conducts the IBD/TIPP poll.
First, the Senate bill retains large portions of the most popular elements of ObamaCare. It keeps the ObamaCare rule requiring insurance to let parents keep their children on their plans until they turn 26. It retains protections against pre-existing conditions (which 91% of the public supports). It includes income-based tax credits — which are similar to ObamaCare's subsidies — to lower the cost of insurance. And it retains ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion for three years, after which the program would slowly transition to a new funding mechanism.
The IBD/TIPP Poll found that many of the Senate's changes to ObamaCare are also popular with the public.
For example, more than half the public (51%) back the GOP plan to get rid of ObamaCare's individual mandate. Only Democrats want to keep in place (65% say that). Fifty-two percent of independents want it gone, as do 69% of Republicans.
The individual mandate is least popular in the South (where 57% oppose it) and among those under 25 (54% oppose the mandate).
And while 54% say they want to keep the employer mandate in the July poll, when IBD/TIPP asked this question in April, 53% supported the GOP plan to get rid of it.
"The current majority in favor of the employer mandate is primarily driven by an overwhelming share of Democrats supporting the idea," said Mayur. "Democrats see that it is employer's social responsibility to provide health care while Republicans feel that the additional burden would stymie the growth of small businesses and thus impact employment."
The poll also found that 53% back the Senate plan to keep ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion in place until 2020, after which it would be scaled back. The poll found that 56% of independents and 67% of Republicans support this, while 57% of Dems don't. Interestingly, 53% of households making less than $35,000 back this provision of the Senate bill, which is almost identical to the support it gets among households making more than $75,000.
In June, IBD/TIPP asked whether the public supported "reducing federal funding of Medicaid, by giving states more flexibility to mandate the program." This is what both the House and Senate bills propose to do. It got 55% support, with just 42% opposing it.
Most opposed the House plan to replace ObamaCare's income-based subsidies with age-based tax credits, 54% to 35%. The Senate version, however, includes an income-based as well as an age-based tax credit.
When asked about it in May, the public was split on the House proposal to let states opt out of ObamaCare's "community rating" and "essential health benefits" regulations, which 43% supported and 44% opposed. The Senate bill, however, includes stricter opt-out rules.
The July poll also found that the public is split on the question of whether ObamaCare would collapse if left alone: 47% say it would, 49% say it wouldn't.
Methodology: The July IBD/TIPP Poll was conducted from June 23-June 29. It includes responses from 900 people nationwide, who were asked questions by live interviewers on cell or landline phones. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.3 percentage points; the poll was conducted June 23-29.
For the questions about health care reform, the sample was limited to the 691 people who said they were following the news about the Senate health reform bill closely, resulting in a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
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