Poll: Majority of Americans See Healthcare as Most Important Issue

Majority of U.S. citizens see healthcare as the most important issue the country is facing but are doubtful Congress will pass legislation lowering premiums and covering more people, according to a Bloomberg poll released Monday.

With the GOP push to repeal and replace ObamaCare serving as the poll’s backdrop, 35 percent of Americans surveyed indicated healthcare was their top issue, more than twice as many as any other option. The other leading issues included unemployment and jobs (13 percent), terrorism (11 percent), immigration (10 percent) and climate change (also 10 percent).

About 64 percent of Americans disapprove of how President Donald Trump is handling healthcare, compared to 28 percent approving.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has delayed a vote on healthcare legislation that leadership hoped would be this week, as Senator John McCain recovers from an unexpected surgery. Without McCain, Republican leadership didn’t have enough votes to begin debate on the bill because Senators Rand Paul and Susan Collins said they would vote against a motion to proceed.

About 60 percent of those surveyed believe it’s unrealistic legislation will pass in the next several years that both lowers premiums and leads to more people with health coverage.

Conservative lawmakers have consistently pushed for a bill lowering health insurance premiums. A provision from Senator Ted Cruz was added to the revised version of the GOP plan that lets insurers sell plans that don’t comply with ObamaCare’s regulations as long as they sell also a plan that does.

But the measure has received pushback from healthcare experts and insurers. In a strongly worded letter sent Friday, America’s Health Insurance Plans — the major insurance trade group — and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association warned that it is “simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market.”

Bloomberg surveyed approximately 1,000 people over the phone from July 8 to July 12. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

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