Will Trumpcare's unpopularity be fatal?

Protest in Washington Image copyright Reuters

The latest round of polling, which shows approval numbers for the Senate healthcare reform legislation hovering in the mid-teens, is 50 shades of bad for Republicans.

They're about to head home for a week-long Fourth of July recess, and between parades and pie-eating contests, they'll likely hear from constituents, few of whom will have nice things to say.

Republicans are caught in a political pincer not unlike the one Barack Obama and Democrats faced during the Affordable Care Act battle of 2009.

Back then, conservatives viewed Obamacare as an unacceptable government takeover of the US health system.

Meanwhile, some on the left disapproved because they thought the efforts didn't go far enough. They wanted full-out socialised medicine, instead of market-based insurance reform.

That left-right combo of dissatisfaction made it hard for Obamacare to ever garner majority backing.

Trumpcare faces a similar dilemma - only it's much, much worse.

Democrats universally despise the proposals.

The not-far-enough/too-far divide exists almost entirely within Republican ranks.

Moderates think the cuts go too far. Hard-liners want a full-out repeal. None of them are happy. That leaves only a slice of a slice of the public offering any kind of support for the bill.

Republicans legislators may yet close ranks and pass something - anything - when faced with the unappealing prospect of failure after promising action for seven years.

One thing is certain, however. Whatever they might agree on has little chance of garnering much popular support.