Jul 7, 2017

The most unpopular bill in three decades

This is why Senate Republicans are having so much trouble with the health care bill. The Republican health care effort is the most unpopular legislation in three decades — less popular than the Affordable Care Act when it was passed, the widely hated Troubled Asset Relief Program bank bailout bill in 2008, and even President Bill Clinton's failed health reform effort in the 1990s. That's the verdict from MIT's Chris Warshaw, who compiled polling data from the Roper Center on major legislation Congress has passed since 1990.

Data: MIT Assistant Professor Chris Warshaw, Roper Center Public Opinion Research Archive; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Why it matters: It's rare for Congress to move ahead with legislation when the signs are this clear that the public doesn't want it. Clinton's health care plan never got a floor vote in the House or Senate, and neither did President George W. Bush's plan to partially privatize Social Security. (It's not included in Warshaw's data, but the Social Security plan only had 46 percent support in February 2005 and seniors were overwhelmingly opposed, according to the Pew Research Center.)

The big exceptions: Democrats ignored the warnings and passed the ACA, expecting the political fights to fade — but they never did. And Congress passed TARP because the markets were melting down and it had no choice. Even in those cases, the polling averages weren't as low as the support for the GOP health care plan.

Then vs. now: Support for the Affordable Care Act fell as low as 38 percent right before final passage — but even that isn't as bad as the 12 percent support for the Senate health care bill in a recent USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll.

Go deeper

Medicare for All's missing mental health discussion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America's mental health care system is in dire need of an overhaul, but the any real specifics are largely missing from the 2020 debate about health care.

Why it matters: Suicide and drug overdose rates continue to rise, and the U.S. faces a shortage of mental health providers and a lack of access to treatment.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020

Klobuchar: Obamacare is more popular than Trump

Sen. Amy Klobuchar spoke on the Affordable Care Act and how she believes it's better to build on the plan than try to bring in something new, splitting from Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who back Medicare for All.

"The Affordable Care Act is 10 points more popular than the president of the United States. The answer is to build on it."
— Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Go deeper:

Keep ReadingArrowJan 15, 2020

A care model for the sickest patients doesn't work

An emergency room is a common site for "superutilizers." Photo: Leonard Ortiz/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Providing close follow-up care from a team of clinical and social workers to the sickest, most vulnerable patients does not reduce hospital readmissions, a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes.

Why it matters: Many doctors and scholars viewed this approach as a promising way to improve care and save money, but it doesn't appear to do either.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020