The current political climate in the U.S. is tumultuous and has brought to light how polarizing our opinions can be. With an expected voter turnout that would hit a 50-year record during midterm elections, it’s no surprise that Google Trends shows that it’s heavily searched, and beyond that, healthcare is top of mind. But, what are voters focused on when it comes to this topic?
Healthcare is universally impactful and at every stage of life you depend on access to care that helps you to maintain your health. The future of healthcare has also been heavily debated from the Affordable Care Act to the funding of Planned Parenthood. To learn more about key issues, I surveyed my colleagues through SurveyMonkey and asked the following questions:
- What personal concerns do you have around healthcare?
- From a national level, what concerns would you like addressed?
- Why are the selected issues top of mind?
- If you had to choose three words to describe U.S. healthcare, what would they be?
The first two questions were multiple choice with responses based on trending topics in the media, such as security and Medicare/Medicaid coverage. For the first question, 62 percent of respondents noted that out of pocket costs were a major concern and 16 percent noted price transparency, such as upfront costs for procedures, tests, etc. From a national perspective, 41 percent said women’s health and 26 percent noted the opioid crisis. Respondents also outlined insurance premiums (13 percent), telemedicine (5 percent) and Medicare/Medicaid coverage (21 percent) as concerns from both a personal and national level.
For the third and fourth questions, SHIFTers were asked to provide their own responses. Many individuals expressed great concern for their families and friends, one stating: “from my personal life, I watch my parents and partner struggle with healthcare costs for simple things like an inhaler.” When asked to describe the U.S. healthcare system, many noted: “expensive,” “confusing” and “unequal.” The 39 survey responses revealed that our concerns around healthcare are real and common.
The divide between those that align with republican, democrat and every party in between, is one that will never go away. However, opening up the conversation to my peers revealed that we’re more alike than we may think. We all need and want quality care for our ourselves and those that mean the most to us. As we approach the 2018 midterm elections, remember that we’re not so different after all and there is strength in connecting and working towards a common goal.