January 25, 2024
KFF Well being Information: With Trump Entrance of Thoughts, New Hampshire Voters Cite Abortion and Obamacare as Issues
HANOVER, N.H. — Well being care points are necessary to Lana Leggett-Kealey, who works as a genetic genealogist. However on Tuesday, as she walked out of her polling place at a neighborhood highschool and right into a frigid New England morning, she mentioned she had one thing larger on her thoughts when she forged her vote.
“I need to ensure that now we have somebody competent within the White Home,” she mentioned. She wrote in President Joe Biden’s identify on her poll in New Hampshire’s Democratic main.
The Inexpensive Care Act’s future is necessary to Robert Stanhope, a retired invoice collector. He mentioned he additionally wrote in Biden, whose administration has labored to cut back prices below the ACA.
However that wasn’t his motivation for his early-morning go to to the polls. “I’m right here to maintain Trump out of workplace,” Stanhope mentioned.
Dave Avery, 61, of Merrimack, New Hampshire, mentioned well being care wasn’t on his thoughts both. He sought to place the previous president again within the White Home. “Immigration and the financial system are my points,” he mentioned. “We additionally want more cash to remain in our nation.”
Voters casting their first ballots within the 2024 presidential election cycle on Tuesday framed well being care as a back-burner situation, capping years of political wrangling over Obamacare and a pandemic that strained the nation’s well being system.
Donald Trump defeated former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley within the state’s GOP main, in accordance with The Related Press. Biden, who didn’t seem on the poll because of disagreements over the first schedule, received the Democratic contest owing partly to a vigorous write-in marketing campaign.
In interviews with greater than 50 voters this week in New Hampshire — a state the place 95% of residents have health insurance, one of many highest charges within the nation — most individuals mentioned their vote was about Trump, like him or hate him. However well being care considerations — about prices, entry, and, particularly amongst Democrats, abortion — weren’t removed from many citizens’ minds.
“I’ve two daughters and 5 sisters and a mother, so ensuring girls’s reproductive rights are protected is necessary to me,” mentioned Rob Houseman, 60, a city official in Hanover. Fearful that Republicans will attempt to “weaponize well being care” as an alternative of making certain entry, he mentioned he voted for Biden.
Many against Trump cited considerations about his health to steer, whereas most Trump voters who spoke with KFF Well being Information mentioned they supported him for 2 principal causes: They hoped he would scale back unlawful immigration and decrease inflation.
Democratic voters had been extra possible than Republicans to quote heath care as a key situation within the election.
“Oh my, sure,” mentioned Ben Gilson, 90, a retired orthopedic surgeon. “Well being care is my No. 1 situation.”
Whereas he mentioned he has wonderful protection and pays little in out-of-pocket prices, he worries many youthful individuals battle and desires to ensure Obamacare is retained. One in every of Trump’s earliest guarantees throughout his 2016 marketing campaign was to repeal and exchange the ACA — a vow he has just lately revived in his newest try to win the White Home.
Elaine Kozma, 73, of New London mentioned well being care points are vitally necessary to her as a most cancers survivor. She mentioned she voted for Haley, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, whom she thinks she will be able to belief greater than Trump.
In New London, Kate Turcotte, a professor at Colby-Sawyer School, mentioned she voted for Biden to maintain Trump out of workplace — and since she trusts Democrats extra to enhance well being protection and defend abortion rights.
She mentioned she additionally worries Trump will attempt to minimize well being take care of essentially the most weak. “Well being care must be a proper, not a privilege,” she mentioned.
Trump voters incessantly cited immigration as a prime concern. Republicans have accused Biden of permitting document numbers of immigrants to cross into the U.S. from Mexico.
In Merrimack, Mary Clancy, 69, mentioned she was happy along with her Medicare protection and was voting for Trump primarily to safe the southern border.
Kathy Franqui, 54, of Merrimack, mentioned the border and immigration had been her principal causes for voting for Trump. However she additionally mentioned Trump would scale back well being prices.
Tim Beauchene, 48, of Hanover, who’s a prepare dinner at Dartmouth School, mentioned he’s involved concerning the rise of costs for medical care, together with different items and companies. His vote for Trump “was extra concerning the financial system,” he mentioned. “Costs are so excessive within the grocery retailer and for gasoline.” Costs for normal unleaded in New Hampshire averaged $3.03 a gallon on Tuesday, in accordance with the AAA auto membership.
At a espresso store in Warner, Susan Hencke, 62, mentioned she pays $1,100 a month for medical health insurance. However she mentioned well being care was not among the many components figuring out how she would vote.
She mentioned having a president who will defend civil rights issues most to her. She was undecided about whom to help.
Each she and her husband, who declined to offer his identify, mentioned they had been involved about abortion restrictions Trump might impose.
Sitting outdoors the espresso store within the freezing climate was Artwork Sullivan, 75, of Hooksett, who mentioned immigration was his overriding situation within the election — and why he was voting for Trump.
Requested if he had been personally affected by immigration, he mentioned he was nervous his youngsters must shoulder the monetary burden of individuals coming into the U.S. with out authorization.
“The border is a shame,” mentioned Sullivan, who mentioned he’s a registered impartial voter and sells swimming swimming pools.
Requested if well being care was one thing he considered when evaluating candidates, he mentioned he had a Medicare Benefit plan that covers his payments and supplies entry to care.
DJ Annicchiarico, co-owner of United Shoe Restore in downtown Harmony, mentioned he’s a registered Democrat. However whereas he prefers Biden on well being points, he’s not but persuaded to vote for him in November.
His principal concern is inflation. He mentioned the ACA, which he described as a step in the proper course, had helped decrease his insurance coverage premiums however hadn’t managed well being care costs. “One thing must be achieved to rein in inflation,” he mentioned.
Annicchiarico mentioned he needs to see well being care costs regulated by the federal authorities and worries Trump would attempt to repeal the ACA. He famous entry remains to be a difficulty and mentioned getting a dermatology appointment for his daughter meant ready eight months.
Aalianna Marietta, 21, a school scholar, mentioned well being care was necessary to her, notably abortion rights, so she could be voting for Biden. “I’m 100% pro-choice, and I can’t see myself voting for somebody who’s racist and a misogynist,” she mentioned of Trump.
Deb Shope, 57, out strolling her canine in Lebanon, mentioned well being care is a prime situation for her as a result of she works as a medical social employee and sees how necessary good well being protection could be. She mentioned she was voting for Biden as a result of she favored how he has tried to assist individuals get protection and tackle their psychological well being care wants.
Shope mentioned it’s arduous to look past how Trump acts as an individual. Requested if she is nervous about him getting reelected, she mentioned individuals shouldn’t fear about issues out of their management.
January 24, 2024
KFF Health News is a nationwide newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about well being points and is among the core working applications at KFF—an impartial supply of well being coverage analysis, polling, and journalism. Study extra about KFF.