Public wants Senate to rewrite the House health care bill

Partisanship is driving Americans' views of the GOP health care bill — and of the system it would replace. That's the gist of the Kaiser Family Foundation's latest tracking poll, which found stark partisan divides over … pretty much everything in health care. But there's a general consensus on one thing: Most Americans want the Senate to rewrite the House bill.

Data: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, May 2017; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Overall, the Affordable Care Act remains more popular than the American Health Care Act. Here's the partisan breakdown that explains why:

  • Both depend heavily on their political bases, but the Affordable Care Act is more popular with Democrats (78 percent view it favorably) than the American Health Care Act is with Republicans (67 percent).
  • Most Republicans said the Senate should make changes to the House's health care bill, rather than pass it as is. Most Democrats said the Senate should not pass any version of it.
  • Independents tend to side with Democrats: More approve of the ACA than the AHCA, and a plurality wants the Senate to make "major changes" to the House bill.

Why it matters: A less popular bill is less likely to pass, and harder to defend even if it does. Republicans know there's a playbook for capitalizing on an unpopular, party-line health care bill. It's a playbook they wrote.