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Midterms Archives — Protect Our Care

About Last Night: Health Care Won

Health Care Delivers Control of the House, the Speaker’s Gavel and At Least 29 Seats to Democrats in the House

Senators Baldwin, Brown, Manchin Win On a Health Care Message; Repeal Cheerleader Dean Heller Defeated by Health Care Champion Jacky Rosen

Wisconsin, Kansas, Maine, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada and New Mexico Elect Health Care Champions Governor

Idaho, Nebraska, Utah to Expand Medicaid

Watch the Video

Washington, D.C. – In response to the outcome of the 2018 midterm elections, which delivered clear and resounding health care victories for the American people, Leslie Dach, founder and chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“Americans in overwhelming numbers rejected the war on health care that has defined the Republican party for almost a decade. With health care propelling Democrats to leadership of the House, leadership of key states and leading voters in three deep red states demanding Medicaid expansion, the American people sent a clear and unmistakable message against the Trump-GOP agenda of repeal and sabotage and for a mandate to protect our care, starting with lower prescription drug prices and continued protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”

WATCH THE VIDEO: HEALTH CARE WON

NATIONWIDE, HEALTH CARE DROVE VOTERS TO DEMOCRATS:

Washington Post: Health Care Was The Top Issue.

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:

[Washington Post, 11/7/18]

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]

New York Times: Women Broke Hard For Democrats, With Health Care Helping To Drive This. “The gender gap has remained relatively consistent since the 1980s, but it has been widening in recent years. Political scientists attribute this to women placing more of an emphasis on social welfare issues like health care and child care, which generally align with the Democratic Party, whereas men are more concerned with issues like taxes and national security.” [New York Times, 11/7/18]

HEALTH CARE TIPPED THE BALANCE OF THE HOUSE IN DEMOCRATS’ FAVOR:

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 Trusted Significantly More 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.”

TX-32: Colin Allred Used Health Care To Take Down 11-Term Representative Pete Sessions. “In North Texas’ most heated congressional race, health care has become the dominant issue. Longtime Republican Rep. Pete Sessions is facing his toughest political challenge in years from Democrat and civil rights lawyer Colin Allred for his North Dallas seat… Allred has attacked Sessions, stating that Sessions voted to end protections for people with pre-existing conditions. That’s accurate, though one could say that those votes were symbolic while President Obama was still in the White House. But last year, with President Trump in office and Republicans had the strength in House and Senate to repeal and replace Obamacare, Sessions also voted for a bill that analysts say would have weakened, but not eliminated, protections for people with pre-existing conditions.[KERA, 11/2/18]

IL-14: Lauren Underwood, Who Helped Implement The Affordable Care Act, Got Into The Race After Watching Randy Hultgren Voted For Repeal. Hultgren, who has represented the district since 2011, told constituents at a town hall that he was ‘committed to voting no’ on any health care plan that would allow insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. ‘I took him at his word,’ Underwood [said]. ‘I said okay, at least we know that whatever might move forward out of the Congress would include protections for people like me.’ Underwood, who worked in the Department of Health and Human Services under Obama, has a heart condition called supraventricular tachycardia, which keeps her heart from maintaining a normal rhythm… Less than a month later, Hultgren voted for the American Health Care Act, the GOP health-care plan that would have weakened protections for pre-existing conditions… ‘Then I was mad,’ Underwood says.” [Time Magazine, 11/2/18]

KS-03: Sharice Davids Made Health Care The Focus Of Her Race. “If the myriad mailers didn’t make it clear, the big blue bus parked near the Country Club Plaza should have: Health care is dominating the race between Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder and Democrat Sharice Davids… Amid that backdrop the Davids-Yoder race for Kansas’ 3rd District and other contests that will decide which party controls Congress have become filled with health care-related mailers and TV spots that contain kernels of truth wrapped in exaggeration. Yoder did vote dozens of times to repeal Obamacare.” [Kansas City Star, 10/24/18]

MI-08: Mike Bishop’s Vote For Repeal Drove Elissa Slotkin Into The Race. “Before she passed away, Slotkin’s mother had struggled to get affordable insurance because of a pre-existing condition (she had survived breast cancer as a young mom). When Slotkin saw Bishop smile as he joined Trump at the White House to celebrate the GOP vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, she was enraged. ‘It was like Christmas for him,’ she says. ‘And I turned to my husband and I said, ‘No, You don’t get to do that. You don’t get to ignore your constituents and vote against their interests and keep your job.’” [Time Magazine, 11/5/18]

IA-03: Cindy Axne Found A “Winning Message” Calling Out David Young’s Health Care Record. “Axne, a first-time candidate who launched her campaign more than a year ago, found a winning message in calling out Young’s health care record. She was particularly critical of the Republican’s 2017 vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a dominant issue in other tough GOP re-election bids around the country. ‘I will do whatever it takes and I will make sure that we never turn back the clock, that we always ensure that anybody with pre-existing conditions is covered,’ Axne said in her late Tuesday victory speech.” [Des Moines Register, 11/7/18]

NY-19: Health Care Was The Defining Issue In Antonio Delgado-John Faso Race. “The health care ads targeting Mr. Faso have been so prevalent that the constituent who confronted the congressman, Andrea Mitchell, has become something of a local celebrity, with strangers stopping her on the street to share their own health care stories. ‘It’s very strange,’ Ms. Mitchell said. ‘I’m hugged in the grocery store!’ The Faso health care ads originated from a protest outside his home in January 2017, his first month in Congress, when he met with unhappy constituents, including Ms. Mitchell, who told him of her conditions and asked him “as a human being” not to take away coverage of pre-existing conditions. ‘I promise, I promise, I promise,’ Mr. Faso said as they hugged.” [New York Times, 9/4/18]

NY-22: Anthony Brindisi Ran Against Claudia Tenney’s Repeal Vote. “The reason health care costs are spiking right now, Brindisi says, is because of attacks on the ACA. He notes that many health insurance companies are raising prices this year because of the recently passed tax overhaul that repealed the individual mandate, which required all Americans to have some form of health insurance or pay a penalty. Tenney voted for that legislation.” [WRVO, 8/9/18]

HEALTH CARE PROPELLED DEMOCRATS TO VICTORY IN SEVERAL KEY STATEWIDE RACES:

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 Vukmir 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 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 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]

In Maine, Where Democrats Flipped The Governor’s Mansion And State Senate Health Care Dominated Advertising. Health care led the issues discussed on television advertising by Maine politicians running for the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, a report by the Wesleyan Media Project released late Monday found. In Maine, 79 percent of the 19,847 ads run in October on broadcast TV and national networks and cable channels focused on health care, including the Affordable Care Act and health reform. The issue topped the list in August with 94 percent of the 3,287 total ads and in September with 73 percent of the 8,892 ads… Health care was mentioned more in pro-Democratic advertising, appearing in 57 percent of airings in October compared to 32 percent of pro-Republican airings.” [Bangor Daily News, 11/7/18]

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]

VOTERS TURNED OUT IN DROVES TO EXPAND MEDICAID IN FIVE NEW STATES:

Los Angeles Times: Medicaid A Winner. “Hundreds of thousands of poor Americans across the country look poised to gain health coverage, as Democrats made gains in key state elections Tuesday and voters in several Western states appeared to be backing measures to expand Medicaid… The most immediate coverage gains look likely to occur in Nebraska, Idaho and Utah, where ballot measures to expand Medicaid were comfortably ahead. But Medicaid expansion may also be on the way in Kansas, where Democrat Laura Kelly defeated a conservative Republican in the race for governor. The state’s GOP-controlled state Legislature had tried to expand the safety-net program under pressure from financially struggling hospitals in the state, but the expansion was blocked by former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. A victory in Maine by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Janet Mills should clear the way for that state to finally expand Medicaid coverage as well.” [Los Angeles Times, 11/6/18]

  • HuffPost: Medicaid Is A Big Winner On Election Day. [HuffPost, 11/7/18]
  • Axios: Medicaid’s Big Midterms Night [Axios, 11/7/18]
  • National Public Radio: A Winning Idea: Medicaid Expansion Prevails In Idaho, Nebraska And Utah [NPR, 11/7/18]
  • New York Times: Laura Kelly Wins Kansas Governor Seat Running On Medicaid Expansion. [New York Times, 11/6/18]

VOTERS DEMANDED AN END TO GOP REPEAL AND SABOTAGE AGENDA:

Chuck Todd: Midterm Voters Gave Democrats A Mandate To Protect The Affordable Care Act. “Midterm voters gave Democrats a mandate to protect the Affordable Care Act, NBC political director Chuck Todd said Wednesday. The moderator of ‘Meet The Press’ sees President Donald Trump working with Democrats on health care as ‘more possible than people realize.'” [CNBC, 11/7/18]

Politico: Voters Approved Medicaid Expansion In Three States, “Defying Republican Officials Who Long Refused The Program.” “Democrats ran on Obamacare and, finally, sailed to victory. The party that bet on surging enthusiasm for the Affordable Care Act flipped control of the House Tuesday night in what could amount to a major reset of the political direction on health care. Democrats also made gains at the state level, wins in gubernatorial races that could prompt new expansions of Medicaid and energize lawmakers, who can claim they have a mandate to further build on a law that serves as the bedrock of their domestic agenda. Voters in three states also approved Medicaid expansion through the ballot, defying Republican officials who long refused the program.” [Politico, 11/6/18]

Washington Post Editorial: “The Democrats Achieved Their Victory Tuesday Night In Large Part By Promising To Protect Health-Care Coverage.” “The new majority also has an opportunity to offer a positive legislative agenda. The Democrats achieved their victory Tuesday night in large part by promising to protect health-care coverage, especially for Americans with preexisting conditions. Though effective in winning over moderate voters, the campaign did not establish a clear mandate for much beyond that — eminently valid — objective.” [Washington Post, 11/7/18]

Forbes: “The People Have Spoken. Health Care Is A Mess And They Want It Fixed.” “According to Pew research, health care was the single biggest worry on the minds of the people as they cast their ballot. With large Democratic wins, control of the House and a pickup of seven Governorships, the people have spoken. Health care is a mess and they want it fixed. With President Trump and the Republican controlled Senate, what can the Democrats do to move the needle on fixing our health care system?” [Forbes, 11/7/18]

Kaiser Poll Show Yet Again that Americans Want Supreme Court, Congress to Protect People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Washington, D.C. – This morning, the Kaiser Family Foundation released its July tracking poll showing that protecting people with pre-existing conditions is the top health issue for voters, the latest of a series in recent months – and the second released this week – showing health care as a top issue in the upcoming elections.

Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement in response:

“Poll after poll has shown the American people want their leaders to continue to protect people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination, yet Donald Trump and Republicans’ continue with their repeal and sabotage campaign to weaken these protections, raise premiums, and cut coverage. But the American people see this war on their health care and are experiencing the effects of it every day. We will make sure Americans remember who is siding with them, and who is siding with insurance companies making record profits after Republicans cut their care and gave them a huge tax cut, in November.

AMONG THE POLL’S FINDINGS:

  • Protections for people with pre-existing conditions is the top health care issue for voters.
  • From the poll: “This issue cuts across voter demographics with most Democratic voters (74 percent), independent voters (64 percent), and voters living in battleground areas (61 percent), as well as half of Republican voters (49 percent) saying a candidate’s position on continued protections for pre-existing health conditions is either the single most important factor or a very important factor in their 2018 vote.”
  • Sixty-four-percent of voters do not want the Supreme Court to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including 71 percent of Independents.
  • A majority of Americans — 56 percent of those polled — say President Trump and his Administration are working to make the ACA fail.
  • A majority — 51 percent — of people living in states that have not yet expanded Medicaid support expansion want their state to expand Medicaid.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:

Since Assuming Office, President Trump And Congressional Republicans Have Repeatedly Attempted To Repeal The Affordable Care Act And With It, Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions.

  • The Trump administration just asked courts to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. In early June, the Trump Administration’s Department of Justice decided to argue that courts should throw out the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • The Senate Republican repeal bill would have allowed states to waive ACA protections, allowing insurance companies to charge sick patients more.
  • The House Republican repeal bill would have allowed insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing conditions “prohibitively high premiums.”

GOP Sabotage Has Persisted for 18 Months, and Has Caused Massive Premium Increases

  • Last year, Republican sabotage pushed 2018 insurance premiums up by a national average of 37 percent and this year GOP sabotage has resulted in 2019 premium increases in all but two states where the data is available.
  • A new report released this week found that, in 2019:
    • A typical family of four will see a marketplace premium that is $3,110 higher.
    • A 55-year-old couple will see a premium $3,330 higher on average.
    • An unsubsidized 40-year-old will pay an extra $970 on average.
  • Meanwhile, other acts of sabotage would eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions and raise costs. View a comprehensive list of acts of health care sabotage here.

A Year After Repeal Defeated in the Senate, Health Care is the Top Issue to Voters, and May be the Issue that Most Influences the Midterm Elections

  • The Kaiser tracking poll finds that continuing protections for people with pre-existing health conditions is the top health care campaign issue for voters across all demographics.
  • A new Protect Our Care-PPP poll found voters will support candidates who want to improve the ACA rather than repeal it, and strongly oppose the Trump Administration going to court to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Last month’s June Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll found health care to be the top issue for voters, ranked higher than all issues, including the economy and jobs.
  • A June NBC News poll found health care to be top midterm issue.
  • In a May CBS News poll, voters said health care is the most important issue in deciding who to vote for Congress in November.
  • A year ago, ACA repeal bills were among the least popular pieces of major legislation in history. When the House was considering the “American Health Care Act,” (AHCA) polls at the time showed it to be the most unpopular piece of major legislation Congress had considered in decades. Then, the so-called Graham-Cassidy repeal bill had a 24 percent approval, even more unpopular than the AHCA.

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Meet the Press Guest: Republicans Could Lose the House in 2018 Because of Affordable Care Act Repeal Attempts

Washington, D.C. – This morning on Meet the Press, Cook Political Report National Editor Amy Walter told Chuck Todd: “Republicans could lose the House in 2018 by trying to repeal Obamacare.” Here are Walter’s full remarks:

“It was in Pennsylvania-18 where the generic ballot, when you ask that question right before the election, was 42-42 in a district that Trump carried by twenty points. The challenge for Republicans right now isn’t just that the President is unpopular and has lost popularity even in districts he won in 2016 – the Party’s unpopular, and the issues are unpopular. What Conor Lamb talked about, and Senator Brown raised this, about the issue of health care, is gonna be a big issue in this election. The irony is Democrats lost the House in 2010 on Obamacare, Republicans could lose the House in 2018 by trying to repeal Obamacare.”

Watch the full clip here.