A majority of voters say the Republican plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare will be a step back for the country rather than an improvement, according to a new Harvard-Harris Poll survey provided exclusively to The Hill.
The survey found that 51 percent of registered voters view the GOP effort as moving the country backward, while 26 percent say it would be an improvement.
In general, voters are split on the fate of ObamaCare, with 41 percent saying they support legislation to repeal and replace the healthcare law, versus 43 percent who say they oppose a new healthcare overhaul.
Still, the poll found there is opportunity for Republicans if they can sell their ideas effectively.
Forty-nine percent of voters want to see ObamaCare repealed and replaced with a new law that does not include a mandate to purchase health insurance under threat of penalty. An additional 18 percent want to see ObamaCare repealed entirely. Only one-third of voters support keeping the Affordable Care Act in place as it is.
The individual mandate is particularly unpopular, with 64 percent of voters saying they support its elimination.
The trick for Republicans will be in dealing with the popular aspects of ObamaCare, such as the Medicaid expansion, which enjoys broad support.
“No question that the voters want ObamaCare repealed and replaced but the president and the Republican leadership have so far failed to sell their plan as the best alternative,” said Harvard–Harris co-director Mark Penn.