Poll: Dems have the edge in healthcare debate

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A majority of voters trust Democrats more than Republicans on the issue of healthcare and most say that ObamaCare is working fine, according to data from the latest Harvard-Harris poll.

The survey, provided exclusively to The Hill, found that 52 percent of voters trust Democrats to provide the best way forward on healthcare. Twenty-seven percent said they trust President Trump and only 21 percent said they trust Republicans in Congress, bringing the total GOP figure to 48 percent.

In addition, 53 percent said they believe ObamaCare is working, rather than failing.

{mosads}Meanwhile, the favorability rating for Republicans in Congress has sunk below that of the Democrats. While 59 percent of voters disapprove of Democrats, 67 percent give Republicans in Congress a negative favorability rating.

“Republicans are paying a heavy price for division and confusion, losing the momentum on healthcare to the Democrats,” said Harvard-Harris co-director Mark Penn.

Those findings come as Republicans in the Senate seek a way forward to fulfilling their years-long campaign pledge to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) needed Vice President Pence to break a 50-50 tie on a measure to begin debating the matter.

That victory was short-lived, as the Senate on Tuesday night voted down advancing toward a measure to repeal and replace the law. A Wednesday vote on clean repeal also fell short.

Voters are hoping for a bipartisan fix.

The Harvard-Harris survey found that if ObamaCare is repealed, 86 percent want to see Democrats work with Republicans on a replacement.

And if Republicans fail to agree on a replacement bill, 50 percent want them to bring Democrats on board for the process, against 30 percent who said they should allow a two-year window to work it out and 20 percent who said they should drop the issue and move on.

The public is split on the idea of repealing with a two-year window for a replacement, with 51 percent opposing that action and 49 percent in favor.

Eighty-two percent of Democrats — and 76 percent of voters overall — want to see Democrats unveil their own plan to improve ObamaCare.

A strong majority, 70 percent, support the Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare. However, 65 percent want to see the healthcare mandate repealed.

The Harvard-Harris online survey of 2,051 registered voters was conducted between July 19 and July 24. The partisan breakdown is 37 percent Democrat, 31 percent Republican, 27 percent independent and 4 percent other.

The Harvard-Harris Poll is a collaboration of the Harvard Center for American Political Studies and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard-Harris throughout 2017. Full poll results will be posted online later this week.

The Harvard-Harris poll is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

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