GOP takes wrong lesson from Georgia: Red state Republicans really hate health care repeal


The Republican plan to undo Obamacare and strip millions of their health insurance is incredibly unpopular, even in extremely conservative congressional districts.

Vox reports on a new poll from the University of Maryland of voters in those areas finds that 63 percent of them reject the legislation backed by Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The poll did not use partisan language, and went point-by-point through many of the provisions of the legislation, and as Vox notes, “the results don’t look good for the Republican party.”

Republicans gave their own party’s proposals failing marks on several key elements, including 66 percent of respondents opposing higher premiums for older Americans, and 60 percent opposed to allowing insurance companies to charge more for pre-existing conditions.

Majorities of Independents and Democrats also opposed the Republicans on those issues, while additionally slamming the provision to defund Planned Parenthood, the plan to revoke essential health benefits, undoing the employer mandate, and the multiple proposals to cut programs that aid the poor, like Medicaid.

While Republicans may want to parlay Karen Handel’s narrow victory in the Georgia 6th Congressional District special election into a mandate to continue pushing their health care plans, she won by only 4 percent in a heavily Republican district.

Moreover, while Handel endorsed the ambiguous notion of repealing Obamacare, she rejected certain elements of the GOP legislation, saying that she opposed the attack on those with pre-existing conditions — though she falsely asserted that Senate Republicans rejected the House language on the issue.

Republicans up for election next year, having voted for the Trump bill, will have no such cover or rhetorical dodge on which to rely. And their seats are far less secure than the one Handel just won.

The political landscape and outlook for the Republicans giving a rubber stamp to the Trump/Ryan/McConnell plan is bad even in the most Republican-friendly territory in the country. As Americans across the political spectrum continue to reject the health care repeal plan, 2018 will certainly bring many more unexpectedly tough races for Republican candidates.

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