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2020 Democratic Debate: What Voters Want to Hear About Health Care

Yuval Rosenberg

Given the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump and the turmoil in Syria in the aftermath of the president’s controversial decision to withdraw U.S. troops, health care is likely to be somewhat less of a focus at tonight’s Democratic presidential debate than previous times the candidates squared off on stage.

But Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning independents still want the candidates to address key health-care issues, based on the results of the latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll.

The poll finds that 58% of those voters say Democratic candidates are spending too little time talking about women’s health care, including access to reproductive health services, and surprise medical bills. Half say they want candidates to talk more about ways to lower what people pay for care. 


On the other hand, only 35% want to hear more about Medicare for All, and the polls finds that support for a government-run health plan has ebbed in recent months while support for a public option has grown.


Some other notable findings from the poll:

  • Just 37% are aware that Trump has promised to release a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, and 62% are “not too confident” or “not at all confident” that Trump will deliver on his promise to provide Americans with better health care at a lower cost. (More than eight in 10 Republicans say they are very or somewhat confident Trump will deliver on health care, compared to just 4% of Democrats and 37% of independents.)

  • The public is narrowly divided on whether the impeachment inquiry will prevent Congress from addressing health-care issues including drug prices and surprise medical bills, with 47% saying it will and 45% saying Congress can work on multiple things at once.

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