Still no deal after Freedom Caucus meets with Trump as new poll puts approval of GOP health-care bill at ... 17/56

“This is called walking into an electoral chainsaw,” writes Harry Enten of the new Quinnipiac numbers, noting that both HillaryCare in 1993 and ObamaCare in 2010 polled about 10-15 percent higher — and both led to utter midterm devastation for Democrats.

One reliable divergence in Trump-related polls is the split between whites with and without college degrees. The latter are Trump’s base, the former are much more divided politically. But there’s not much divergence this time, as even blue-collar whites without a B.A. are solidly against the bill. Republicans, which normally break upwards of 80/10 on Trump measures, are a feeble 41/24 this time. No one likes the bill. And it appears that they dislike it on the merits, not due to knee-jerk opposition to Trump: WaPo points out that Trump’s own approval rating in yesterday’s Quinnipiac poll was roughly twice as high as the bill’s rating in today’s poll across various groups.

People understand the bill well enough by now, it appears, to know that it doesn’t deliver on some of Trump’s core promises. Here’s the result when they’re asked if they think more or fewer Americans will have insurance under the GOP’s bill:

That’s what a CBO score showing 24 million fewer people with insurance over 10 years will do to you. And again, note the numbers for whites without a degree, the constituency whom Trump is counting on to rally behind him and the bill.

One more table, which should illustrate vividly the populist deficiencies in the bill. Behold the reaction when people are asked what they think about cutting Medicaid:

The best numbers of any group come from Republicans, and even they’re far underwater at 39/54. Remember, the original version of the GOP bill called for delaying the Medicaid rollback until 2020. Trump agreed to accelerate the rollback to make conservatives happy, moving it up to 2018. Imagine being a moderate Republican in the House or Senate, staring at these poll numbers, and realizing that the bill is actually moving in the opposite direction from what would make it more popular. “You know what the Trump base would really like?” tweeted David Frum. “If Medicare eligibility were lowered to 55.” Indeed — richer entitlements for the working class, not poorer. Instead Trump and Ryan are squeezing Medicaid. You can run all the ads in the world during the midterms in 2018 to convince people that Medicaid doesn’t do much to improve the health of the poor. I doubt it’ll do you any good.

And the punchline is, the conservatives whom Trump is trying to make happy still aren’t happy:

One last number from Quinnipiac as we wait for news on whether there’ll be a floor vote today: Voters disapprove of Trump’s handling of health care, 29/61. Last week Fox News had it at 35/55. I don’t think there’s going to be a floor vote today.

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Jazz Shaw 5:01 PM on March 22, 2023