Health Reform WK-EDGE Voters trust Clinton over Trump on health, rank ACA low on importance
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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Voters trust Clinton over Trump on health, rank ACA low on importance

By Bryant Storm, J.D.

The majority of voters say they trust Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Republican nominee Donald Trump to deal with issues like access and affordability of health care, the future of Medicare and Medicaid, prescription drug costs, the Zika outbreak, and the future of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148), according to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) analysis of Kaiser health tracking poll data. When voters were asked about which health care issues presidential candidates should discuss, the ACA ranked relatively low, below Medicare, Medicaid, prescription drug costs, and access and affordability of care.

Candidates. Clinton’s most prominent lead is on women’s access to reproductive health care, where voters favor her 64 percent to 28 percent. Her narrowest lead is on the future of the ACA, where she leads Trump 50 percent to 41 percent. When broken down by demographics, the splits become more complex. Among female voters, Clinton’s leads over Trump on the issue of women’s access to reproductive health is more significant, with 71 percent of female voters saying they trust Clinton to do a better job, whereas 20 percent of female voters put their trust in Trump. Voters over the age of 65 are closely split on who is better equipped to deal with the future of Medicare, with 47 percent favoring Clinton and 44 percent choosing Trump. When voters were asked which issues were among the top priorities that candidates should discuss, 66 percent of voters chose the future of Medicare and access and affordability of care. The future of the ACA ranked lower, with 52 percent of voters calling it a top priority and 13 percent of voters calling it "not too important" or "not at all important."

ACA. The Kaiser survey also evaluated public opinion regarding the ACA. According to the survey, public sentiment remains split over the health law with 40 percent of respondents indicating a favorable view of the ACA and 42 percent indicating an unfavorable view. When individuals were asked about media coverage of the ACA, 27 percent considered the coverage mostly balanced, while 21 percent expressed a belief that media coverage is biased in favor of the health law. Along party lines, the split is more significant—47 percent of Republicans said that news media coverage is biased in favor of the ACA, while 50 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of Independents said the news coverage is mostly balanced.

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