Susan Walsh/Associated Press A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll says Americans are split over the GOP healthcare replacement bill.
About half of Americans believe the Republican healthcare plan would result in fewer people having health insurance and higher costs for anyone who buys their own health insurance, according to a new poll released Tuesday by the non-partisan Menlo Park-based Kaiser Family Foundation.
Forty-eight percent of the public say the plan would cut the number of people being covered, compared to one in five (18 percent) who say it would increase the number of people with insurance.
The poll found the same number — 48 percent — expect the House GOP plan that seeks to replace the Affordable Care Act would increase health costs for anyone who buys their own insurance compared to 23 percent who say it will lower costs.
The survey was conducted from March 6-12 — the same time Americans were first learning about the House Republican’s American Health Care Act, but before the Congressional Budget Office released its report on Monday estimating the effects of the GOP plan.
That report concluded the GOP plan would save $337 billion by 2026, but would also increase the number of insured Americans by 24 million over the same period.
The CBO study also estimates that some Americans may end up paying less for premiums under the GOP bill in by 2026. But it said that’s largely because many older consumers — who have higher medical costs, which increases premiums for everyone — would no longer be able to afford health plans. So the “risk pool” would be younger and healthier.
Other highlights from the Kaiser poll:
Republicans are more likely to expect positive results from the GOP plan, while Democrats and independents are more likely to anticipate negative ones.
For example, almost half (46 percent) of Republicans anticipate lower costs for under the GOP plan, while most Democrats (71 percent) believe it will lead to higher costs. More independents say costs will increase (47 percent) than decrease (25 percent).
And while more Americans say the GOP plan would increase deductibles (41 percent) than lower deductibles (25 percent), Republicans are more likely to expect deductibles would decrease (41 percent) than increase (16 percent).
At least four in 10 polled say they expect the GOP plan would increase costs for younger people (41 percent), older people (45 percent), people with low incomes (46 percent), and people living in both urban (41 percent) and rural (42 percent) areas who buy their own insurance. Smaller shares expect it to decrease costs in each category.
The public’s views, according to the poll, are more evenly split on one group: those with higher incomes. Similar shares say this group would see lower costs (27 percent) as higher costs (25 percent).
Also, nearly half (45 percent) say protections for people with pre-existing conditions would stay about the same.
Elsewhere, the GOP replacement bill proposes to halt federal funding for Planned Parenthood clinics for one year for all Medicaid services they provide, including contraception, cancer screenings and preventive services, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
But the polls says three-quarters of the public oppose cutting off funds to Planned Parenthood for those services, while 22 percent favor it. Large majorities of Democrats and independents as well as narrower majorities of Republican men (55 percent) and Republican women (57 percent) oppose eliminating funding. The poll said few people change their minds when presented with counterarguments to their initial view.
Meanwhile, the public also remains divided over whether Congress should repeal the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare: 45 percent are in favor compared to 51 who are not, according to the poll.
Among those who favor repeal, the poll said about one quarter want Congress to wait until the details of a replacement plan are known than 19 percent who want an immediate vote.
The poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation surveyed 1,206 adults across the country. The maximum margin of error for the full sample was plus or minus 3 percentage points.