Failure to repeal Obamacare leaves Congressional Republicans damaged

September 28, 2017, 6:35 PM GMT+0

55% of Americans think Obamacare repeal won’t happen

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell knew he did not have the votes to pass Obamacare repeal before the September 30 deadline, and decided not to hold a vote. Americans in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll did not like the latest plan being offered. Few Republicans or Democrats expect that repeal will happen anytime soon; in fact most Americans (and 41% of Republicans) don’t think repeal is likely.

Some of those Republicans who say repeal is unlikely still think it may happen – but not until after 2018.

The latest bill – Graham-Cassidy – was opposed by the public by nearly two to one. 22% approved of the plan, while 41% did not, and the rest weren’t sure. But most did not see the proposal benefiting the country, their state, or themselves personally. Just 16% said a health care reform bill passed by Congress and the President would make them personally better off.

The biggest losers of the Congressional Republicans’ inability to reach an agreement on health care were the Congressional Republicans themselves. They may control Congress, but they have lost popularity with their own party’s members. Fewer than half of Republicans this week say they have a favorable opinion of the Republicans in Congress, down 15 points in just one week.

In contrast, more than three-quarters of Democrats have a favorable view of their own party’s members in Congress.

The GOP Congressional leadership in both House and Senate has lost support. Republicans are as likely to disapprove of how House Speaker Paul Ryan is handling his job as they are to approve. Twice as many Republicans disapprove of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s performance as approve.

McConnell has been viewed negatively by Republicans for a while. But for Ryan, these are the worst scores ever from Republicans.

Another casualty may be the politicization of a late night host. Jimmy Kimmel – who became an advocate for insuring pre-existing conditions after his child was born with a heart condition – was moved to call Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy, the co-sponsor of Graham-Cassidy, a liar on his show. Three years ago, Republicans liked Kimmel. In May, when Kimmel first mentioned the subject of health care reform, Republicans were divided. Now they have an unfavorable opinion of Kimmel. 68% of Democrats had a favorable view of Kimmel in 2014, while 74% do so today.