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Public More Likely To Trust Democratic Party To Do A Better Job Dealing With Most Health Care Issues

The KFF Election Tracking Poll finds the Democratic Party has the edge over the Republican Party on the public’s trust to do a better job dealing with a series of health issues. Six in ten say they trust the Democratic Party to do a better job dealing with women’s access to reproductive health services (61 percent), maintaining Medicaid expansion (58 percent), continuing the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions (58 percent), and improving the health of minority populations (58 percent). In fact, at least twice as many say they trust the Democratic Party to do a better job on these issues than say the same about the Republican Party. The Democratic Party also has an edge over the Republican Party on the future of the ACA (54 percent vs. 30 percent) and improving rural health care (50 percent vs. 32 percent). Less than half of the public say they trust either party on addressing the prescription painkiller addiction epidemic, reducing health care costs, and controlling Medicaid spending.

Figure 1: Public More Likely To Trust Democratic Party To Do A Better Job Dealing With Most Health Care Issues

The public’s trust in parties largely falls along partisan lines with majorities of Democrats saying they trust the Democratic Party and majorities of Republicans trusting the Republican Party. A larger share of independents say they trust the Democratic Party than the Republican Party on many issues including women’s access to reproductive health services (60 percent vs. 21 percent), continuing protections for people with pre-existing conditions (60 percent vs. 19 percent), improving the health of minority populations (55 percent vs. 24 percent), maintaining Medicaid expansion (55 percent vs. 23 percent), the future of the ACA (53 percent vs. 25 percent), and improving rural health care (44 percent vs. 29 percent).

Table 1: Which Party Do Independents Trust On Health Issues?
AMONG INDEPENDENTS:
Which party do you trust to do a better job of dealing with the following?
Democratic Party Republican Party
Women’s access to reproductive health services 60% 21%
Continuing the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions 60 19
Improving the health of minority populations 55 24
Maintaining Medicaid expansion* 55 23
The future of the ACA 53 25
Improving rural health care 44 29
Reducing health care costs 42 32
Addressing the prescription painkiller addiction epidemic 36 34
Controlling Medicaid spending 33 42
Note: Medicaid expansion was only asked among those living in states that have expanded their Medicaid programs.

 

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.