The October Health Tracking Poll finds, one week before the presidential election, the economy remains the primary concern on voter’ minds, but health policy issues remain in the mix.
The new survey finds that roughly a third of likely voters name the Affordable Care Act (37%), Medicare (36%), and Medicaid (30%) as “extremely important” to their vote, compared to half (52%) who say the same about the economy and jobs. But separate health care issues stand out for different groups. For Democratic voters, Medicare (43%), Medicaid (43%), and the ACA (41%) all share the top spot with the economy (43%). The economy is the winner (67%) for Republican voters, with the most important health issue, the ACA (49%), ranking third behind the deficit (58%). And senior voters prioritize Medicare (50%), coming in a close second to the economy (54%).
Given that the difference between how many voters thought Medicare or Medicaid was “extremely important” to their vote was only 6%, you might think they would have been discussed similarly in this election. Medicaid does, after a, cover 61 million people (more than Medicare) and cost more than $300 billion. Instead, I’ve got twitter followers quibbling about whether thirty words were spoken about it during the debate.