Topics
More on Policy and Legislation

Healthcare still a top priority for voters as midterm elections near

Democrats have spent about half of their political advertising on healthcare-centric advertising.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

The midterm elections are coming quickly around the bend, and just a few weeks out, voters' attitudes haven't changed: They still consider healthcare the top issue heading into the election, even more so than perceptions about President Donald Trump.

According to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 71 percent of voters considered healthcare a "very important" issue, and Florida and Nevada residents in particular are keen on candidates that have pledged to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions.

IMPACT

Democrats have apparently noticed that healthcare remains a major issue, and have spent about half of their political advertising on healthcare-centric advertising, according to a new analysis from Protect Our Care.

The analysis shows Democrats largely have the support of voters on the topic, due in part to GOP efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, efforts that thus far have been unsuccessful.

In September alone, Democrats ran more than 130,000 healthcare-focused ads throughout the country. And that's not counting the 69,000 ads that mentioned healthcare in some fashion. Many of the ads focus on those Republican repeal attempts.

In the Kaiser Poll, jobs and the economy came in second to healthcare, with 64 percent of voters saying it's "very important." Third was gun policy at 60 percent.

When asked to pinpoint only one issue that was most important, healthcare again took the blue ribbon, with 30 percent of voters picking it as the premier policy consideration of the election.

Meanwhile, 69 percent of Florida voters and 68 percent of Nevada voters said they would likely support a candidate that pledged to maintain the ACA's protections for pre-existing conditions.

THE TREND

Voter attitudes about healthcare have remained largely unchanged throughout the year, with a January KFF poll yielding similar results

As with many issues, however, there was a party divide, with healthcare a much higher priority for Democrats (39 percent) and independent voters (32 percent) than with Republican voters (13 percent).

Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com