The Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare is the most unpopular piece of legislation to come out in the past three decades, according to a new analysis.
The bill is more unpopular than the Affordable Care Act (ACA), former President Bill Clinton's failed healthcare reform and the bank bailout bill known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
Chris Warshaw, a professor of political science at MIT, compiled opinion polling data from the Roper Center's public opinion research archive.
"I thought that trying to understand how public opinion on this bill fits in to the larger historical background in public opinion on other major bills might be helpful for understanding the relative popularity or unpopularity of this bill," Warshaw said.
But he said he didn't expect the bill to be as unpopular as it was in a historical perspective.
Between March and May 2017, the Republican American Health Care Act had a 28.2 percent approval rating on average. That’s over 15 percent less than Obamacare’s approval ratings right before it passed. And over 13 percent less than the approval ratings for TARP in 2009.
Warshaw says the study could be a wake-up call for Congress.
"I would certainly expect, if they pass this, that there will be an electoral penalty for people that vote for it," he said.
Many political scientists believe Democrats lost their majority in Congress in the 2010 election after passing the ACA.
But Warshaw says the analysis doesn't necessarily mean the repeal effort is doomed to fail.
"Certainly, members of Congress care about what the public thinks, but I also think they care about what their constituencies think," he said.