Health care is top issue for voters

Written on Jan 26, 2018

A new poll shows that health care is a top priority for most voters going into the 2018 midterm election cycle, and that Republicans who have repeatedly tried but failed to kill the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could suffer as a result.

The advocacy group Protect Our Care Campaign commissioned the study.

By a margin of 47% to 38%, voters said they would be less likely to reelect their members of Congress if they voted for GOP-sponsored bills to repeal and replace the ACA.

Sixty-eight percent said they agreed with the statement that President Trump and Republicans in Congress should abandon their ACA repeal efforts and "start working across party lines on common sense solutions that build on the current law."

The poll of 1,000 people found that 54% chose health care as one of the two issues that that will be most important to them in deciding who to vote for in congressional elections.

No other issue was even close to that percentage of respondents. The second most commonly cited issue was the economy, at 29%, and taxes, at 28%. Immigration was at 18%, as was education.

Hart Research, which conducted the poll, found in a survey last August that health care was named by 55% of voters as a top issue. And in a May survey, 57% cited it as a top issue.

The poll found that more voters, 72% of respondents, disapprove of how the GOP has handled the issue of health care than do disapprove of the Republicans' job in Congress overall, which stood at 61% of voters.

Only 35% of voters had a favorable opinion of bills proposed by Republicans in Congress last year to repeal the ACA, and 52% had an unfavorable opinion of that legislation, which all failed to pass.

The poll also found that there was a 10 percentage point increase in the share of voters who view Trump as actively trying to make the ACA fail. Fifty-two percent of voters now say that, compared to the prior findings in August's survey.

By a margin of 55% to 45%, voters said problems with ACA are the result mainly of actions by Trump and Republicans.

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