Approval for Congressmen Messer’s and Rokita’s health care bill remains perilously low

Yet similar bill poised to pass Senate behind closed doors

INDIANAPOLIS – More than a month after its passage, the Republican healthcare bill supported by Congressman Rokita and Congressman Messer is more unpopular than ever, with fewer than 20 percent of Americans supporting it. Yet despite its mass unpopularity, Senate Republicans are going back on their word and preparing to shove through a remarkably similar bill being negotiated in secret.

A Quinnipiac University poll released last week demonstrates the rank unpopularity of the Republican-backed American Health Care Act (AHCA), which passed out of the House with only Republican votes in May. Only 17% of Americans, including 18% of independents, support AHCA, while 62% now oppose it. Meanwhile, Republicans have taken to sabotaging health insurance markets make their overhaul seem more appealing.

The reasons for AHCA’s unpopularity are readily apparent. An analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office last month suggests that the proposal would deprive 23 million Americans of healthcare over 10 years. It would cut $800 billion from Medicaid, gutting funding for HIP 2.0 and harming programs as diverse as beds for seniors in nursing homes and help for children with developmental disabilities. And it would make coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions prohibitively expensive, discriminating against hundreds of millions of Americans who have suffered from things like birth defects or cancer.

Yet even after several Republicans distanced themselves from the bill, Senate Republicans are preparing to ram something through the Senate that looks suspiciously similar to the legislation Congressmen Messer and Rokita supported. A report today makes clear Senate Republicans in closed door meetings are coming together around a health care bill that includes the House’s Medicaid cuts, and may ultimately also include stripping protections for pre-existing conditions. While the future of AHCA initially looked bleak in the Senate, “the path to repeal may be easier to find than initial expectations,” reports say.

“Congressman Messer and Congressman Rokita’s vote for this massively unpopular overhaul just goes to show that they’ll put their party bosses in Washington before Hoosiers every single time, even if that means taking away healthcare from those who need it most,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Hoosiers are proud to have someone like Joe Donnelly in their corner with the principles to fight against this horrible bill.”

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