On January 5, 2020, control of the U.S. Senate will be determined by runoff elections in Georgia. Both tight races, Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff will face Senator David Perdue, and Reverend Raphael Warnock will go up against Senator Kelly Loeffler. Both Senators Perdue and Loeffler are strong supporters of President Trump’s disastrous health care agenda, while Ossoff and Warnock support President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda to lower costs, expand coverage, and defend the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Polling from before and after the presidential election shows that health care has been a top issue for Georgia voters, and news coverage confirms health care could be central to securing a Democratic victory in both races. 

Health Care Is A Top Issue For Georgia Voters 

Exit Polls Revealed That 79 Percent Of Biden Supporters In Georgia Said Health Care Was Important To Their Vote. “Independents in Georgia broke for Biden by 7 points, 51 percent to 44 percent, according to the New York Times exit polls. (In 2016, Trump had won them decisively.) And health care policy was one of the top issues for Biden voters, just behind racial inequality and Covid-19, with 79 percent saying it was important to their vote.” [Vox, 11/6/20

In October, 74 Percent Of Georgia Voters Said Health Care Was A Very Important Or The Most Important Issue When Deciding Who To Vote For In The Senate Race. “A new Public Policy Polling survey finds that health care is a key issue for Georgia voters, with 74% considering it either a very important or the most important issue when deciding who to vote for in the US Senate race.” [Protect Our Care, 10/22/20

  • Voters Reported That They Trusted Democratic Challenger Jon Ossoff More On Health Care Issues Than Republican Senator David Perdue. “49% trust Ossoff more to protect health care for people with preexisting conditions, while just 39% trust Perdue more. 48% trust Ossoff more on the overall issue of health care, while only 40% trust Perdue more. 48% trust Ossoff more to hold health insurance and pharmaceutical companies accountable, while only 42% trust Perdue in this area.” [Protect Our Care, 10/22/20
  • Voters Were Less Likely To Support Senator David Perdue After Hearing He Voted To Repeal The Affordable Care Act. “Meanwhile, a majority (56%) of Georgia voters oppose the Trump administration’s attempt at striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in court without any replacement. Just 33% think the law should be struck down. When voters hear that Perdue voted four times to fully repeal the ACA, a plurality (43%) say they are less likely to support him in the election, while only 32% are more likely.” [Protect Our Care, 10/22/20]

October 2020 Monmouth Poll Found That Georgia Voters Trusted Joe Biden Over Donald Trump On Keeping Health Care “Affordable And Accessible” By A 10-Point Margin (48-38). [Monmouth University, 10/28/20

September 2020 Commonwealth Fund Poll In Battleground States Found That A Wide Majority Of Georgia Voters Said Joe Biden Was More Likely Than President Trump To Protect Insurance Coverage For People With Pre-Existing Conditions (63-30). “In each of the 10 battleground states, a majority of likely voters said Biden is more likely to protect insurance coverage for people with preexisting conditions. Likely voters favor Biden over Trump on this issue by between 6 percentage points in Ohio to 33 percentage points in Georgia.” [Commonwealth Fund, 9/24/20

Trump’s Attacks On Health Care May Have Been Key To Biden’s Lead In Georgia

Vox: Trump’s Efforts To Scrap Healthcare.gov Could Have “Pushed Biden Over The Top” In Georgia. “There are lots of factors in what made Georgia so competitive this year — including a fired-up Black voter base, college-educated suburbs leaning away from Republicans, and the legacy of the late John Lewis hanging over the election after his death this year. But elections are also decided on policy, and we know that health care has been a top issue for American voters for at least the past year. We also know that Democrats are more trusted by far on health care. I am going to forever wonder whether Trump’s decision to scrap HealthCare.gov in Georgia just two days before the election could have pushed Biden over the top.” [Vox, 11/6/20

Democrats Will Continue To Focus On Health Care In Georgia Runoff Races

Warnock Will Continue Focusing On Expanding Access To Health Care Ahead Of January Runoff. “For Warnock’s campaign, the strategy isn’t expected to change much, despite the national attention following last week’s election. Warnock’s campaign will turn again to expanding access to health care, protecting voting rights and ‘presenting a vision of the state that benefits all Georgians,’ according to a campaign spokesperson speaking on background.” [USA Today, 11/9/20

Ossoff Campaign Manager: Georgians “Are Going To Send Jon To The Senate To Defend Their Health Care.” “ Democrats, meanwhile, continued a focus on healthcare by accusing Republicans of a botched response to the still-raging coronavirus pandemic…Ossoff’s campaign manager Ellen Foster said Georgians “are going to send Jon to the Senate to defend their health care and put the interests of working families and small businesses ahead of corporate lobbyists.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/7/20

The Hill: “The Stakes Are High, And Democrats Plan To Partly Frame The Races As A Referendum On Health Care.” “The stakes are high, and Democrats plan to partly frame the races as a referendum on health care. Without a Democratic majority in the Senate, Biden’s health care agenda would be severely limited to administrative action and bipartisan legislation which has become increasingly hard to pass in a gridlocked Washington. Democrats think if they can make health care the focus of the election in Georgia — one of the few states that hasn’t expanded Medicaid to low-income adults under ObamaCare — they have a decent shot at victory. Black people in Georgia has also been disproportionately dying of COVID-19, partly due to a lack of access to health care. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that will determine the future of the law Tuesday.” [The Hill, 11/8/20]

Stefan Turkheimer, Democratic Strategist In Georgia, Said That The Issue Of Health Care Is “Absolutely Resonating” In Georgia. “‘Health care has always been a big issue, but now that you’ve got ObamaCare going to the Supreme Court, and it’s such an important problem for so many people, especially given COVID. I think it’s absolutely resonating in Georgia,’ said Stefan Turkheimer, a Democratic strategist in the state.” [The Hill, 11/8/20]

The Head Of The GOP Senate Super PAC Called Democrats’ Focus On Pre-Existing Conditions “Particularly Effective.” “Democrats relentlessly hammered incumbent Republicans, regardless of state, for supporting the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with preexisting conditions. The head of the major Senate GOP super PAC, Senate Leadership Fund, conceded the ads had a significant impact. ‘If you were to turn your TV on in every state in the country that had a competitive Senate race, you would see exactly the same ad run by every Democratic candidate, every Democratic outside group and the DSCC,’ Steven Law said. ‘Our data suggests the Democratic attacks were particularly effective there.’” [Huffington Post, 11/9/20