Analytics shows HFC saved GOP on Health Care

Last week Republican House Leadership pulled the American Health Care Act avoiding a vote that was likely to result in a stunning defeat. In response, various sources have sought to blame conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus for scuttling the bill, and even intimating that it might cost them their seats in Congress.

But data from three WPA national predictive models on 1) Speaker Ryan’s AHCA, 2) Obamacare, and 3) a plan to fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with market-based solutions show that the Freedom Caucus members were, in fact, doing the will of their constituents in helping defeat the AHCA.

Moreover, the data show overwhelming support for full repeal and replace and suggest that the House Freedom Caucus did the Senate, and Republicans’ hopes of expanding their Senate majority, a great service in stopping the bill before it made it across the Capitol.

Model Approach

As part of WPAs monthly modeling updates, which include national models of key current policy issues, our in-house data science team developed three predictive analytics models to test support for the various approaches to health care reform. These were:

· likelihood of each individual voter to support or oppose “preserving the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, mostly as it is.”

· likelihood of each individual voter to support or oppose “the Republican health care plan that eliminates the individual mandate, replaces income based subsidies with subsidies based on age and family size, but leaves many other elements of Obamacare in place.”

· likelihood of each individual voter to support or oppose repealing Obamacare and enacting a “plan that allows for the sale of insurance across state lines, expands Health Savings Accounts, incentivizes states to create high risk pools, block grants Medicaid, and is portable so it can be taken from job to job.”

Data for these models was collected during the height of the AHCA debate.

House Freedom Caucus members held the line, and the data show that is precisely what their constituents wanted.

While full repeal and replace of Obamacare has overwhelming support in these districts, even keeping Obamacare intact was more popular than the AHCA, often by more than a two-to-one margin.

Potential impact on 2018 Senate Campaigns

Just as critical to the political landsape is the impact non-passage of AHCA may have on GOP effort to maintian control of the senate. In each of the Senate’s potentially competitive races in 2018 the AHCA was opposed by majorities.

There is a path forward for a stronger repeal-and-replace bill.

While it is clear the constituents of House Freedom Caucus members prefer repeal and replace, supporting this approach would also be a net-win in the key 2018 Senate states. Likewise, a vote to preserve Obamacare, rather than repealing and replacing, would be a net-loss for endangered Democrats.

The table below shows the number of supporters who prefer a repeal-and-replace plan versus those who support keeping Obamacare as is. While the margins are tight in some states, in every state there is a net preference for repeal-and-replace.

Our models illustrate the supported course of action is move a repeal-and-replace bill. Not only does this positioning have overwhelming support in each state, it would force endangered Democrats to choose between their party and their constituents.

For more information on how these models were built, please contact us at 202–470–6300 or

WPA team members CRO Bryon Allen (@AllenWPA), SVP Brian Phillips (@RealBPhil) and data scientists Jay Lucas and Tim Lee contributed to this post.