Drug prices top voters’ healthcare concerns

drug prices photo

With Election Day less than a week away, what healthcare issue do you think is top of the mind for most folks?  Obamacare?  Nope.  The Kaiser Foundation’s monthly tracking poll says it’s drug prices. The Affordable Care Act, according to the Kaiser poll, isn’t nearly as high on the voters’ radar.

The poll reports that 74 percent of the public, and majorities across party lines, say making sure that expensive drugs for chronic conditions are affordable should be a “top priority” of the presidential candidates.  Another “top priority” is having the government take action to lower prescription drug prices in general.

Some things voters don’t want

Fewer than a third of all voters say they support repealing the part of Obamacare that requires employers to either provide health insurance to their workers or pay a fine if they don’t.  They don’t want to have the tax subsidies that help people pay their health insurance premiums reduced.  They don’t want to eliminate the tax that’s being levied on people whose employers give them high-cost health plans.

Republicans (but not Democrats or independents) still overwhelmingly want to repeal the entire health law, with 60 percent supporting that action. But Republicans are fractured on why they don’t like the law. Asked what their main reason is for their disapproval, nearly a third say the law “gives government too big a role in the health care system,” and 27 percent said “the law is just one of many indications that President Obama took the country in the wrong direction.”

Healthcare not a priority issue for most

Overall, however, health care rates much lower on the scale than other concerns of voters.  According to the Kaiser survey, the single most important issue in this election for Democrats is the presidential candidates themselves, (36%).  For Republicans it’s the economy and jobs (34%). Healthcare was named “most important” by only 9% of Democrats and 6% of Republicans.

About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at Rx411. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years. This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns. He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C.