With Trump Front of Mind, New Hampshire Voters Cite Abortion and Obamacare as Concerns

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HANOVER, N.H. — Health care points are vital to Lana Leggett-Kealey, who works as a genetic genealogist. But on Tuesday, as she walked out of her polling place at an area highschool and right into a frigid New England morning, she stated she had one thing larger on her thoughts when she forged her vote.

“I want to make sure we have someone competent in the White House,” she stated. She wrote in President Joe Biden’s title on her poll in New Hampshire’s Democratic major.

The Affordable Care Act’s future is vital to Robert Stanhope, a retired invoice collector. He stated he additionally wrote in Biden, whose administration has labored to scale back prices underneath the ACA.

But that wasn’t his motivation for his early-morning go to to the polls. “I’m here to keep Trump out of office,” Stanhope stated.

Dave Avery, 61, of Merrimack, New Hampshire, stated well being care wasn’t on his thoughts both. He sought to place the previous president again within the White House. “Immigration and the economy are my issues,” he stated. “We also need more money to stay in our country.”

Voters casting their first ballots within the 2024 presidential election cycle on Tuesday framed well being care as a back-burner problem, 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 major, based on The Associated Press. Biden, who didn’t seem on the poll because of disagreements over the first schedule, gained 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 medical health insurance, one of many highest charges within the nation — most individuals stated their vote was about Trump, like him or hate him. But well being care issues — about prices, entry, and, particularly amongst Democrats, abortion — weren’t removed from many citizens’ minds.

“I have two daughters and five sisters and a mom, so making sure women’s reproductive rights are protected is important to me,” stated Rob Houseman, 60, a city official in Hanover. Worried that Republicans will attempt to “weaponize health care” as a substitute of guaranteeing entry, he stated he voted for Biden.

Many against Trump cited issues about his health to steer, whereas most Trump voters who spoke with KFF Health News stated they supported him for 2 primary causes: They hoped he would cut back unlawful immigration and decrease inflation.

Democratic voters had been extra seemingly than Republicans to quote heath care as a key problem within the election.

“Oh my, yes,” stated Ben Gilson, 90, a retired orthopedic surgeon. “Health care is my No. 1 issue.”

While he stated 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 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 and win the White House.

Elaine Kozma, 73, of New London stated well being care points are vitally vital to her as a most cancers survivor. She stated 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 College, stated 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 stated she additionally worries Trump will attempt to reduce well being take care of essentially the most weak. “Health care should be a right, not a privilege,” she stated.

Trump voters regularly cited immigration as a high concern. Republicans have accused Biden of permitting report numbers of immigrants to cross into the U.S. from Mexico.

In Merrimack, Mary Clancy, 69, stated she was glad along with her Medicare protection and was voting for Trump primarily to safe the southern border.

Kathy Franqui, 54, of Merrimack, stated the border and immigration had been her primary causes for voting for Trump. But she additionally stated Trump would cut back well being prices.

Tim Beauchene, 48, of Hanover, who’s a cook dinner at Dartmouth College, stated he’s involved in regards to the rise of costs for medical care, together with different items and companies. His vote for Trump “was more about the economy,” he stated. “Prices are so high in the grocery store and for gas.” Prices for normal unleaded in New Hampshire averaged $3.03 a gallon on Tuesday, based on the AAA auto membership.

At a espresso store in Warner, Susan Hencke, 62, stated she pays $1,100 a month for medical health insurance. But she stated well being care was not among the many elements figuring out how she would vote.

She stated having a president who will defend civil rights issues most to her. She was undecided about whom to help.

Both she and her husband, who declined to present his title, stated they had been involved about abortion restrictions Trump could impose.

Sitting outdoors the espresso store within the freezing climate was Art Sullivan, 75, of Hooksett, who stated immigration was his overriding problem within the election — and why he was voting for Trump.

Asked if he had been personally affected by immigration, he stated he was apprehensive his youngsters must shoulder the monetary burden of individuals coming into the U.S. with out authorization.

“The border is a disgrace,” stated Sullivan, who stated he’s a registered unbiased voter and sells swimming swimming pools.

Asked if well being care was one thing he thought of when evaluating candidates, he stated he had a Medicare Advantage plan that covers his payments and supplies entry to care.

DJ Annicchiarico, co-owner of United Shoe Repair in downtown Concord, stated he’s a registered Democrat. But whereas he prefers Biden on well being points, he isn’t but persuaded to vote for him in November.

His primary concern is inflation. He stated the ACA, which he described as a step in the appropriate route, had helped decrease his insurance coverage premiums however hadn’t managed well being care costs. “Something needs to be done to rein in inflation,” he stated.

Annicchiarico stated he desires 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 problem and stated getting a dermatology appointment for his daughter meant ready eight months.

Aalianna Marietta, 21, a university pupil, stated well being care was vital to her, notably abortion rights, so she can be voting for Biden. “I am 100% pro-choice, and I cannot see myself voting for someone who is racist and a misogynist,” she stated of Trump.

Deb Shope, 57, out strolling her canine in Lebanon, stated well being care is a high problem for her as a result of she works as a scientific social employee and sees how vital good well being protection might be. She stated she was voting for Biden as a result of she preferred how he has tried to assist individuals get protection and tackle their psychological well being care wants.

Shope stated it’s arduous to look past how Trump acts as an individual. Asked if she is apprehensive about him getting reelected, she stated individuals shouldn’t fear about issues out of their management.

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 unbiased supply of well being coverage analysis, polling, and journalism. Learn extra about KFF.

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