By Chris Kahn
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Republicans mostly blame the U.S. Congress, and not President Donald Trump or party leaders, for failing to pass their party’s healthcare overhaul, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Wednesday.
The March 25-28 poll asked who should take responsibility for the failure of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which Republican leaders pulled from consideration last week without a vote.
Besides Trump, who backed the bill, and House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, who was expected to shepherd it through Congress, the poll asked if people blamed House Republicans, House Democrats or the media.
Republicans were most likely to blame Congress. Some 26 percent said House Democrats were most responsible and 23 percent blamed House Republicans. Another 13 percent blamed Trump and 10 percent blamed Ryan. Only 8 percent blamed the media. (Graphic: http://tmsnrt.rs/2nhOmjI PDF link: http://tmsnrt.rs/2nhtM30)
Their assessment appeared to align with Trump’s criticism of Democratic leaders and the conservative Freedom Caucus, whom he blamed for the bill’s failure.
Overall, nearly one in four Americans, including Democrats and independents, blamed Trump. Ryan, Congress and the media received less criticism.
The Republican reform was widely criticized after estimates by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office showed 24 million people could lose their health insurance over the next 10 years.
Trump said on Tuesday he still thinks healthcare reform can happen “very quickly” in Washington, but he did not offer any specifics on how it could get done, or what would be changed from the previous bill.
Nearly half of all Americans said they would like to see that happen, though the response was split along party lines. Some 80 percent of Republicans said they would like to see their party take another swing at a bill, compared with only 25 percent of Democrats.
In a separate poll conducted between Jan.7-23, 46 percent of Americans wanted to keep Obamacare, the popular name for President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform, while fixing “problem areas,” and another 8 percent wanted to keep it exactly as it is.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English in all 50 states. The March 25-28 poll included 1,332 people, including 456 Republicans and 558 Democrats. It has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3 percentage points for the entire group and 5 percentage points for Democrats and Republicans.
(Reporting by Chris Kahn, editing by Ross Colvin)