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Bob Casey Archives — Protect Our Care

Polls Show: This Was The Health Care Election

For over a year, health care has been the dominant issue for voters of all backgrounds, and the midterm elections were no different. Health care was the top issue overall. Health care was the top issue for independents by a 2-1 margin. And in states Donald Trump won in 2016, health care powered Democrats to victory in senate seats and governors’ offices.

Washington Post: Health Care Was The Top Issue. [Washington Post, 11/7/18]

It was the most important issue when voting for the House:

It was the most important issue among Democratic voters, who flipped 28 House seats:

Protect Our Care Exit Polling Found That Health Care Swept Democrats Into Victory:

  • In Competitive Republican-Held Seats Democrats Win, Health Care Was The Dominant Issue. “Across the competitive Republican-held seats – the ones Democrats needed to win to take the majority – health care was a defining issue for an overwhelming majority (63%) and Democrats had an 8 point advantage (52% to 44%) on the issue.”
  • Republicans Lost On Pre-Existing Conditions. “Voters trust Democratic candidates over Republican candidates by 17 points (51% to 34%) to protect health care for people with pre-existing conditions, including by 33 points among independent voters, 56-23.”
  • Democrats Were Significantly Trusted On Health Care. “By an 8 point margin (52% to 44%) voters trusted Democrats over Republicans and President Trump on the issue of health care. This lead expanded to 22 points with independents at 57/35.”

NBC News: Health Care Was The Most Important Issue For Independent Voters By 2-1 Margin.

[Sahil Kapur Twitter, 11/6/18]

NBC News: Health Care Was The Top Issue For The First Time In A Decade. “Voters were highly concerned about health care, according to preliminary exit polls on Tuesday, with more citing it as their top concern than the economy or any other issue — the first time in at least a decade that has happened. A plurality of 41 percent identified health care as the issue most important to their vote, which Democrats made the centerpiece of their campaign in races throughout the country.” [NBC News, 11/7/18]

  • Health Care Nearly Doubled Any Other Issue.

[NBC News, 11/6/18]

  • Voters Overwhelmingly Trusted Democrats On Pre-Existing Conditions. “Asked which party would better address Americans with pre-existing conditions, 58 percent said Democrats versus 34 percent who said Republicans.”  [NBC News, 11/7/18]

ABC News: Voters Overwhelmingly Backed Democrats On Health Care. “Health care: Voters by 58-34 percent pick the Democratic Party over the Republicans as more likely to protect health care for people with pre-existing conditions, another central focus of the 2018 campaign.” [ABC News, 11/6/18]

Associated Press: “Health Care Was At The Forefront Of Many Voters’ Minds.” “Health care was at the forefront of many voters’ minds: 26 percent named it as the most important issue facing the country. Immigration was not far behind, with 23 percent naming it as the most important issue.Nearly 4 in 10 of those who voted for a Democratic House candidate named health care as the most important issue facing the nation, while about as many Republican voters considered immigration to be the top issue.” [AP, 11/6/18]

CBS News: Health Care Was Overwhelmingly The Number One Issue. [CBS News, 11/6/18]

In Ohio, Where Trump Won By 8 Points In 2016, Health Care Was Top Issue For 40 Percent Of Voters, Who Overwhelmingly Backed Sherrod Brown. “Forty percent of Ohio voters say health care is their top issue. They went for Sherrod Brown 79-19.” [Geoff Garin Twitter, 11/6/18]

In West Virginia, Where Trump Won By 42 Points In 2016, Health Care Was Top Issue For 41 Percent Of Voters, Who Overwhelmingly Backed Joe Manchin. “Forty-one percent of West Virginia voters said health care was their most important issue, and they voted 72-21 for Joe Manchin.” [Geoff Garin Twitter, 11/6/18]

In Nevada, 65 Percent Of Voters Named Health Care A Top Issue, And They Backed Jacky Rosen By 40 Points. “65% of voters said that health care was either a very important issue, or the most important issue to them. Those voters supported Rosen over Dean Heller 68-28.” [Public Policy Polling, 11/7/18]

In Wisconsin, Where Trump Won In 2016, Health Care Was The Top Issue For 68 Percent Of Voters, Who Overwhelmingly Backed Tony Evers. “68% of voters said that health care was either a very important issue, or the most important issue to them. Those voters supported Evers over Scott Walker 65-33.” [Public Policy Polling, 11/7/18]

Also In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin Led 4-to-1 Among Voters Who Said Health Care Was The Most Important Issue. “Baldwin led Vukmir by especially large margins among women, independents, and moderates. She led 4-to-1 among voters who said health care was the most important issue facing the country — and those voters represented about half the electorate.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/6/18]

In Kansas, Where Trump Won By 20 Points In 2016, Health Care Was A Top Issue For Voters, Who Backed Laura Kelly To Flip The Governor’s Mansion. “About a quarter of Kansas voters considered health care to be the most important issue.” [AP, 11/6/18]

Rural America Reacts to Protect Our Care & Rural Forward Report On GOP Sabotage

Last week, Protect Our Care and Rural Forward released a new report outlining how Republican policies threaten health care in rural areas. The report was announced at a Capitol Hill press conference with Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Rep. Donald McEachin (VA-04), and state-specific versions of the report were released in thirteen states: Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) speaks at the Capitol as the report is released.

Politico Pulse: “Nearly 90 percent of rural hospital closures post-ACA were in states that hadn’t yet expanded Medicaid. That’s according to a new report from Protect Our Care and Rural Forward, which are pro-Obamacare groups. Of the 84 rural hospitals that have closed since 2010, 74 were in states that hadn’t yet opted into the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, stressing their margins… The report lists other pressures on rural hospitals and patients, like the GOP’s push for work requirements in Medicaid. ‘President Trump and his Republican allies are making it harder for people living in rural areas to get the health coverage they need,’ the groups conclude.”

Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA) speaks following the release of the report.

SEMO Times of Missouri: “A report compiled and released by Protect Our Care, a pro-Affordable Care Act coalition, found that 90 percent of rural hospitals that have closed since 2010 have been in states that had not expanded Medicaid at the time of the hospital’s closure. Of the 84 rural hospitals that have closed since 2010, four have been in Missouri. SoutheastHEALTH Center of Reynolds County, Parkland Health Center–Weber Road in Farmington, Sac-Osage Hospital in Osceola, and Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center in Kennett — which closed June 11, 2018 — have all closed in the last four years.”

In Wisconsin, health care advocates held a press conference standing up to GOP health care sabotage.

Indiana Public Media: “Numerous groups warn these changes will have a ripple effect.  Kate Shepard is with Protect Our Care Indiana. ‘The result is increased premiums for everyone,’ Shepard says, ‘even those people who are not buying their insurance through the actual marketplace.’ Protect Our Care released a new report that finds people in rural Indiana could be impacted most. Shepard says Hoosiers have benefited from the law.”

Johnson City Press of Tennessee: “According to Tennessee State University student and Protect My Care organizer Jacob Huss, [rural] residents face unique challenges when it comes to health care access. ‘Rural residents often have to travel long distances for a doctor’s visit and have fewer options when choosing a health care provider. Rural communities also face economic challenges and that can make it much more difficult for residents just to frankly afford their health care,’ Huss said. ‘Many can’t rely on employer-based coverage because it isn’t always offered, especially in a field like agriculture, which so many people rely on directly or indirectly in rural areas.’ While there is a need for health care among many rural Tennesseans, Huss said many state Republicans’ refusal to expand the program has much to do with their opposition to the Affordable Care Act. ‘Since they aren’t able to repeal it, they are sabotaging it,’ Huss said.”

Key findings from the report:

  • Rural hospitals are especially at risk because of Republicans’ health care sabotage agenda, which rural communities often depend on for both primary and specialized health care services. Since 2010, 84 rural hospitals have closed. The vast majority, 90 percent, were in states that had refused to expand Medicaid at the time of the hospital’s closure.
  • The ACA and its Medicaid expansion have been crucial in supporting rural communities: following the ACA’s implementation, the uninsured rate in rural areas dropped from 17 percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2015. The ACA has expanded access to health care to nearly 1.7 million rural Americans, and Medicaid covers nearly 24 percent of rural Americans, 45 percent of rural children, 15 percent of rural seniors, and 51 percent of rural births.
  • As of 2016, 673 rural hospitals were at risk of closing. If Congressional Republicans continue their attacks on Medicaid and the ACA, the financial stability of these hospitals will remain at risk, and millions of rural Americans will face further barriers to accessing the care they need.