BY DEN BISHOP
The 2018 mid-term election is over. Here are my three takeaways.
The democrats got a blue wave in the House.
The republicans got a red tide in the Senate.
Healthcare has permanently planted itself as a key political issue.
Political strategist James Carville is credited with creating the battle cry “It’s the economy, stupid” which helped fuel Bill Clinton’s first presidential victory. According to Pew Research, the economy ranks as a very important voting issue for 74% of Americans. However, it has been eclipsed for the top spot by healthcare!
Republicans used the “repeal and replace” strategy to criticize Obamacare and win election after election since 2010. Their inability to get either the repeal or the replace done while controlling the House, Senate, and White House has created a healthcare void in the republican message and platform. Democrats seized on this opportunity in the 2018 midterms with the left-leaning democrats promoting single payer, or Medicare for all, messages and more moderate democrats stoking the fears of pre-existing condition limitations.
Health insurance in the United States has continually been ranked as the most complicated consumer experience in the world. Confusion and fear create the opportunity for political manipulation. Republicans never really defined what the replacement for Obamacare was going to be. Democrats will follow this playbook and rally around Medicare for all without providing a clear, consistent definition.
Healthcare is not going away as a key political issue. Healthcare naivete’ is a dangerous voter pre-existing condition.