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56 Percent Disapprove of Republican health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare: Poll

One out of every seven Americans -- 14 per cent -- believes they will lose their health insurance under the Republicans' replacement plan

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US President Donald Trump, VOA
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Washington, March 24, 2017: A majority of American voters, 56 percent, disapprove of the Republican health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, according to a poll.

Only 17 percent of voters approve of the plan and 26 percent remain undecided, the Quinnipiac University poll revealed on Thursday.

The question — “There is a Republican health care plan to replace Obamacare, known as the American Health Care Act. Do you approve or disapprove of this Republican health care plan?” — did not go into specifics of the plan.

“Replacing Obamacare will come with a price for elected representatives who vote to scrap it, say many Americans, who clearly feel their health is in peril under the Republican alternative,” CNN quoted Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll, as saying.

Most voters, 61 percent, also disapprove of the way President Donald Trump is handling health care.

The President and Republican leaders are scrambling for a deal on landmark legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Republicans cannot lose more than 21 members of their party and still pass the bill, since no Democrats are expected to support it.

One out of every seven Americans — 14 per cent — believes they will lose their health insurance under the Republicans’ replacement plan.

The plan itself does not enjoy majority support among Republicans, with only 41 per cent backing the bill, reports CNN.

Most men, 56 per cent, disapprove of the plan as do most women, also 56 per cent.

While more than half of white voters disapprove of the plan, even more non-white voters — 64 per cent — disapprove.

Overall, 58 per cent of independent voters disapprove of the replacement plan.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,056 voters nationwide from March 16 to 21.

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Trump to Declare Public Health Emergency for Opioid Crisis

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Photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York. VOA

Washington, October 26: U.S. President Donald Trump plans to declare a nationwide public health emergency Thursday to address an escalating opioid crisis that killed more than 175 people each day last year.

Senior administration officials told reporters Thursday morning the declaration will give states more flexibility to use federal funds, although it will not come with specific funds. The declaration will also broaden the use of telemedicine and remove some regulations.

Officials said Trump wants to include money for the crisis in a year-end budget agreement but to accomplish that, one official said the administration would have to have an “ongoing discussion” with Congress.

The president did not declare a more comprehensive national state of emergency as recommended by his Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. A national state of emergency would have provided states access to funding from the Federal Disaster Relief Fund, which is used to help manage response and recovery efforts associated with disasters such as hurricanes.

Officials said a national state of emergency would not have been the best approach for a long-term crisis and would not have provided authorities with resources the government does not already have.

Trump will sign a presidential memorandum that will order the Department of Health and Human Services the declare the public health emergency and direct all federal agencies to use any emergency powers at their disposal to reduce opioid deaths.

Officials said the emergency would be in effect for 90 days and can be repeatedly renewed.

Trump promised on the campaign trail to make the opioid crisis a top priority. It has developed into one of the nation’s most urgent public health issues, claiming a life every 19 minutes, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. The Medical Care Journal estimated last year the economic cost of opioid overdoses, dependence, and abuse was nearly $79 billion.(VOA)