Obama Maintains Narrow Lead On Health Policy Issues

A new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that in the month before the presidential election, President Obama maintains a lead over Mitt Romney on health policy issues.

According to Kaiser, about a third of voters rate health issues — including health care reform, Medicaid, and Medicare — as their top priorities in November. And when participants were asked which candidate they trusted to implement the best policies on those issues, they preferred Obama by narrow margins:

Obama particularly trumps Romney when it comes to issues regarding women’s health, an area where Kaiser found nearly a 20 point gap between the two candidates. Kaiser’s results corroborate similar findings from a USA Today/Gallup poll earlier this month that found Obama has a significant edge on birth control policy. Polls continue to confirm that the Obama administration’s birth control mandate — a provision of Obama’s landmark health care reform law that attempts to cut down on the large disparity between men’s and women’s health costs by providing contraceptive services without a co-pay — remains popular among voters.

Kaiser also found that Democrats and Republicans tend to give health policy issues different weight compared to the economy. While Democrats ranked economic issues on par with Obamacare, Medicaid, and Medicare — with about 40 percent of participants reporting that each of those four issues is at the top of their mind — Republicans prioritized the economy over health policy by almost 20 percentage points, 67 percent to 49 percent. But health policy issues are actually intrinsically linked to economic issues, particularly for the millions of low-income Americans who rely on the health reform law to extend them the coverage they otherwise would not be able to afford. And even aside from the direct impact on vulnerable Americans’ financial situations, Obamacare will also benefit the economy by creating millions of jobs and lowering costs for business owners.