“How Health Care Factors Into the Presidential Campaign” – The Wall Street Journal
Kaiser Family Foundation chart showing what shares of Republicans, Democrats and independents say health care and other issues are ‘extremely important’ to their vote for president. Photo: Kaiser Family Foundation
“Health care has faded into the background of the election campaign as Donald Trump himself has become the issue on the Republican side and the debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders over health care has shifted to other topics. Health wasn’t even listed among the “most important issues” Republican voters could select from in the exit poll of Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary. But that doesn’t mean health is a total non-factor in the primaries; it is a more salient issue for some voting groups than others. And a broad constellation of health issues, not only the Affordable Care Act, are likely to have traction in the general election, particularly among women.
“Health has traditionally been more of a priority for Democrats. The chart above shows that, although Republican candidates are all-in for repealing Obamacare, health care is a bigger voting issue for Democrats. Health ranked first as an “extremely important” voting issue for Democrats and fourth for Republicans in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Tracking Poll in March. This doesn’t mean that health will be the No. 1 or No. 4 factor when Democrats and Republicans vote in November. As the chart also shows, issue priorities are closely bunched, and my experience has been that voters cast ballots in presidential elections on the basis of their overall views of the candidates rather than candidates’ specific positions on issues.”