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Trump's Support From Base Shows Some Cracks on Health Care

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(Bloomberg) — Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters are less confident of his leadership on health care even though they still overwhelmingly support him as president, the latest Bloomberg National Poll shows.

As Trump calls on the U.S. Senate to pass legislation repealing and replacing Obamacare, 60% of all poll respondents said they think it’s unrealistic that a bill lowering premiums and covering more people will be passed in the next several years. At the same time, health care ranked as the most important issue facing the country, ahead of jobs, terrorism and immigration.

(Related: Investor Optimism Stalls: Wells Fargo/Gallup Survey)

Health insurance companies and drug companies fared equally poorly in the survey, with 61% holding an unfavorable view of each. For insurers, it was the worst showing since the question was first asked in 2009, when half held an unfavorable view. The current poll, which surveyed 1,001 U.S. adults, was conducted July 8-12.

Trump’s overall job approval rating among his voters stood at almost 90%, but just 62% approved of his handling of health care.

“This signals some disillusionment among his base on this issue,” said J. Ann Selzer, whose firm conducted the poll.

The Senate delayed action on a revised version of its Better Care Reconciliation Act bill that was scheduled for as soon as this week because Sen. John McCain is recovering from surgery. Republicans there can lose no more than two votes from their 52-member majority. The Congressional Budget Office may issue an estimate of the cost and insurance coverage of the bill this week, which could sway some of the wavering lawmakers in one direction or another.

Trump voters were more optimistic on health care changes than Democrats, with 62% saying it’s realistic that a bill that improves coverage will pass. About three in four Democrats (77%) said it’s unrealistic, as did 64% of independents. Health care was the No. 1 issue for all demographic subgroups, with the exception of Republicans, who ranked terrorism as the most important issue, with health care second.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. It was conducted by Des Moines, Iowa-based Selzer & Co.

— Read What Clients Want, and What Advisors Think They Want on ThinkAdvisor.


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