The latest Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll is out, polled in the early part of June 2008. The chart on the right illustrates the trajectory of the economy and persistence of Iraq as top-of-mind voter issues, and the quick rise of gas prices just displacing health care as the third issue in voters’ minds. This relegates health care to #4, dropping from its #2 position just six months ago.

What the details under this spiderweb of line graphs show, however, is that health care economics is the #1 health care issue people want presidential candidates to address. A majority of Americans say that “making health care and health insurance more affordable” is the top health issue among registered voters in June 2008. 51% of all voters (including 51% of Republicans and 54% of Democrats) name health affordability the top health issue. A distant second is expanding health insurance for the uninsured, which only 22% say is the top issue under the health care banner.
Clearly, economics overall — and the cost of various aspects of living, from gas to food to health care — is top of voters’ minds this summer.

See Consumer Reports’ analysis, Gas prices survey shows pain at the pump hurts at home, for more on the intersection of petrol and hurt in the home and health economy.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: If it’s good enough for Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, to talk about health care as a centerpiece in the macroeconomy, it’s good enough for me. This year, Health is also the Economy, stupid.