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Is it time for Congress to focus on something else?

By Kyle Stewart • Jul 31, 2017 at 2:00 PM

WASHINGTON — A majority of Americans want members of Congress to ditch health care reform efforts and focus their attention elsewhere, according to a Reuters/Iposos poll conducted after the Senate Republicans’ effort crashed early Friday.

The new poll shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans want to keep the 2010 health care law, either “entirely as is” or after reforming “problem areas.” This was an increase from January, when just over half of Americans agreed with that sentiment.

The poll, conducted Friday and Saturday, surveyed more than 1,130 Americans, including 381 Republicans and 475 Democrats, following the collapse of health care reform in the Senate.

Results showed that support for the Affordable Care Act still splits down party lines. While 9 out of 10 Democrats said they wanted to keep or modify the 2010 law, only 3 out of 10 Republicans said the same.

Republicans have campaigned on dismantling the Affordable Care Act since it was passed in 2010.

Three-fourths of Republicans said they still wanted their elected representatives to repeal and replace the law. Most Republicans, however, said other issues were more important than health care reform at the moment.

Out of all Americans, only 29 percent said their highest priority was health care reform.

The poll also showed an increase in support for specific components of the Affordable Care Act. Seventy-seven percent of Americans favor expanding Medicaid to low-income families, up from 66 percent in April 2012. And 43 percent said they support requiring U.S. residents to own health insurance, an increase from 36 percent in 2012.

Blame for the health care reform failure was shared, according to survey respondents. Twenty percent said Senate Republicans were “most responsible,” while 13 percent said President Donald J. Trump, and 11 percent said Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona. The remaining 56 percent was divided between Senate Democrats, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Reuters/Ipsos said the poll was conducted online in English throughout the United States. The poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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