Just following the release of the Senate's "morally bankrupt" healthcare bill—which would impose deep cuts to Medicaid, eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, and give enormous tax breaks to the wealthy—an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll published on Thursday found Americans "overwhelmingly" dislike the House version of the legislation.
"The bottom line is that Americans don't support this bill. It is irredeemable and unfixable."
—Angel Padilla, policy director for Indivisible
"By a 3-to-1 margin, the American public holds a negative view of the American Health Care Act, legislation that House Republicans passed last month and that President Donald Trump supports," NBC's Mark Murray observed. "Just 16 percent of adults believe that House health care bill is a good idea, versus 48 percent who say it’s a bad idea."
In addition, the poll found that a mere 34 percent of Republicans view the House plan favorably.
Given the similarities between the two bills, the numbers appear to bode poorly for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who hopes to bring his measure—the Better Care Reconciliation Act—to the floor for a vote next week.
The fierce and persistent backlash against GOP attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare has given many Republicans pause, as they consider the electoral risks of backing legislation that could kick tens of millions off their insurance.
Resistance groups have moved in recent weeks to take advantage of this hesitance. UltraViolet has organized sit-ins at the offices of vulnerable senators; Indivisible launched the Trumpcare Ten initiative, which highlights lawmakers who could potentially defect from the Republican Party given enough grassroots pressure.
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Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) experienced that pressure firsthand on Wednesday, as his "usually quiet" constituent coffee meeting was turned into a mini town hall, with angry Ohioans peppering him with questions about his healthcare stance. Portman has been one of several Republican senators to worry publicly about the draconian cuts the bill would impose on crucial programs, including ones designed to help those addicted to opioids.
Now that the Senate bill is public, groups are looking to ramp up their efforts to force the handful of defections needed to prevent the measure's passage. As the Senate's Trumpcare bill was making the rounds, protesters, including many in wheelchairs, were being arrested after staging a protest outside of Sen. McConnell's office.
~200 activists to soon head to Schumer's office in NYC to demand "civil disobedience" in Capitol like Rep. Lewis House sit-in (@sarahljaffe)— Jeff Stein (@JStein_Vox) June 22, 2017
"The bottom line is that Americans don't support this bill. It is irredeemable and unfixable," said Indivisible policy director Angel Padilla in a statement. "If the well-being of their constituents is every senator's priority, no senator should vote for this bill, period."
Indivisible co-executive directors Ezra Levin and Leah Greenberg layed out an action plan on Thursday for those looking to get involved.
"We've got three ways to fight back," they wrote:
- Got a Republican Senator? Excellent. CALL THEM. Find daily scripts and material at TrumpCareTen.org.
- Got a Democratic Senator? Great. Help them filibuster-by-amendment by submitting your amendment to to bury this awful bill: OurAmendments.org. Also ask them to slow down Senate business by withholding consent.
- Want to join a congressional office TrumpCare sit-in? Awesome. Here’s a list of planned events.