We asked you what the most important issues are as you head out to vote over the next two weeks and the response we received most often was HEALTHCARE. This is consistent with recent polls such as this one from KFF that states:

When looking at the role of issues in the 2018 midterms, health care is voters’ top issue with seven in 10 (71%) saying health care is “very important” in deciding who they will vote for.

Today the House Minority Leader echoed this.

Even though it’s the number one issue, healthcare hasn’t received the coverage of the Republican’s favorite topic, immigration.  And that’s mostly because of the elephant in the room, Donald Trump. Or perhaps it’s because Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress tried and failed to blow up the Affordable Care Act.  Make no mistake, there are lots of experts who could talk about healthcare.  One is Andy Slavitt.  He helped resurrect the website healthcare.gov after a disastrous rollout.

The GOP has realized, perhaps too late, that this is a big issue with voters.  Hence the doublespeak from Republicans last week on now favoring coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.  That’s not what they’ve said for years.

Here are some of your responses on this critical issue:

Chad Gorn (Philadelphia, PA)Not nearly enough attention is being given to the GOP’s failed attempts to dismantle the ACA, but more important is the discrepancy between what they say about protecting patients with pre-existing conditions and their proposals and votes that show otherwise. This lie needs to be exposed and should be in headlines daily.”

Susan Loconsole (Carol Stream IL)Number one problem not being addressed is Health care. A sick nation is a weak nation. It should be a human right to have access to healthcare. I worked my whole life and can no longer afford it. It is more than our mortgage payment. Caps and regulations now for insurance and pharm industry. Save our people.” 

Susan Brebner (Tacoma, WA) Health Care, especially Prescriptions once you go on Medicare. I paid a $10.00 copay for my Cancer drug when I worked. When I retired and went on Medicare and got Plan D the Pharmaceutical Company Changed the drug from Tier 1 to Tier 4. Hence now they want me to pay $600.00. Disgusting.” 

Banjo Colucius Smythe (Austin, TX) “I’m concerned with expanding mental health care, especially to those who can’t afford it. If we fail to identify and treat mental health concerns, on a macro scale, they will continue to grow into society-impacting issues ranging from poverty to violence.”

Cheryl Thomas (Vancouver, WA) “Healthcare in general, and specifically the lack of comprehensive care (dental, vision, hearing) included in any medical coverage – particularly Medicare – is my biggest issue. My annual retirement income is roughly $35,000. I have impaired vision and wear contact lenses, loss of hearing which is going untreated due to the expense, and the total cost of my essential dental work is going to be at least $25,000 by the time it’s completed. Medicare doesn’t cover any of these expenses. Even the ‘best’ dental coverage I have found covers only a maximum of about $1,700. After monthly premiums are factored in, the net annual coverage is actually only about $700 or $800.

On top of all that, I have a chronic and incurable lung disease as a result of a bacterial infection. To say that my medical and dental issues represent a financial hardship would be an understatement. I would be better off dead.”

Stephanie Culp (Gaithersburg, MD) I have two severely autistic, non-verbal kids, so my main concern is them. They rely on Medicaid for treatment. They need psychiatrists who take Medicaid. I need respite services so I can work. I need mental health care because caring for them is exhausting. I’m tired of healthcare always getting the ax. I need it. Families need it. We aren’t lazy. We need help, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”