If one were to judge by the latest Quinnipiac Poll, they might think, however, that the Republicans’ doublespeak on repealing Obamacare and replacing it with “something better” has finally worn thin. But even that seems like too soft a phrase for the level of disapproval for the plan the GOP affectionately calls the “American Health Care Act,” more widely known as Trumpcare.
In assessing the results of a poll, it’s important not to just note levels of approval. Equal consideration should be given to the number of people who actively disapprove of the subject of the poll. When you see presidential approval ratings, for example, it’s common to see a low number for an unpopular president. But disapproval doesn’t just show those who simply disagree that a president is doing a good job. It shows how many folks think the president is actively doing terrible.
Likewise with health care. Sure, 17 percent is a horrible number for a thing they’re going to try to force through anyway. But the percentage of people polled who said they hated the plan was higher than the number of senators it would take to defeat it. That is to say, a filibuster-proof majority needs only 60 percent of the upper chamber; Trumpcare disapproval is at 62. Explicit dislike for the plan is even higher among the crucial voting bloc of 18-34-year-olds, at 71 percent.
It wasn’t just an overall Trumpcare sentiment poll. Quinnipiac broke down precisely what Americans found distasteful about the bill, and found that specifically, it was the enormous cuts to Medicaid and children’s health care spending that soured voters on the bill. Just 30 percent of Americans supported Medicaid cuts, despite the fact that mandatory spending on Medicare and Medicaid account for more than a quarter of the federal budget. It’s almost as if people recognize the need for federally-funded health care. But in keeping with the theme of this article, the inverse is that fully 65 percent actively opposed cutting the low-income program. Compassion? Not if you ask Republicans. But in their defense, fewer than half of that demographic supported the cuts, which surprised even me.
The poll also wasn’t all health care.
Surprisingly, the poll didn’t ask a single person about James Comey, and for that we’re glad. We need a break.
Featured image via Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images