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Two in three US voters put the future of the Affordable Care Act as the #1 healthcare issue in the 2016 President election. The ACA is closely followed by healthcare costs — for insurance premiums, deductibles, and prescription drugs, according to the September 2016 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.

The opioid addiction and mortality epidemic is a top healthcare issue for 43% of US voters, and the Zika virus, among 26% of voters.

imageNote that more supporters of Hillary Clinton are healthcare-oriented voters than people who favor Donald Trump. Uninsurance and costs, in addition to the future of the ACA, rank highest for Clinton supporters. The second bar chart illustrates that Trump supporters’ enthusiasm for healthcare issues ranks lower across-the-board for all healthcare issues. The largest difference in health issue concern is the number of the uninsured in America, where 57% of Clinton supporters are keen, but only one-half of that proportion — 28% — of Trump supporters focus.

The one health care issue both Clinton and Trump supporters appear to agree on in equal numbers is the ongoing opioid epidemic in America.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  This KFF Health Tracking Poll shows us that, just weeks before the 2016 US Presidential election, more Democrats (generally assumed to be Clinton supporters) tend to be healthcare voters than Republicans (supporting Trump).

One reason for this is revealed in the latest political polling which shows rather stark demographic differences in the profiles of people who support Clinton vs. Trump. Clinton supporters tend to be more female, and more people of color. Women overall are the Chief Health and Household Officers for their families, and tend to manage healthcare for their loved ones (including the men in their lives) and for themselves. For some time, American women have faced higher health care costs than men (which I spoke to in this Huffington Post column).

For people of color, health disparities in the US have long been part of the public health landscape. Whether dealing with heart disease, various cancers, or access, health disparities currently hit people of color and women more than Caucasian men in America.

The ACA has begun to deal with these disparities and with covering more people of color in those states where Governors have chosen to expand Medicaid. The outcome of the 2016 Presidential election will have a significant impact on the public’s health in the areas of the future of expanding health insurance coverage and dealing with healthcare costs — especially those for prescription drugs, which Hillary Clinton has explicitly focused on in her platform.

 

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