By AMY LONG and JOE MOLLOY
According to the Democrats, their success across the country in the midterm elections has largely been due to the party running on healthcare. Indeed, surveys such as the one conducted by Health Research Incorporated indicated that health was the number one concern for voters during the midterms. In the three states where Medicaid expansion was on the ballot, voters were in favor of it. We’ve been wondering about that, so we took a look at how Iowa voted.
It’s one thing for voters to support healthcare on its own. It’s another for an issue to outweigh all others. Did healthcare really beat every other concern a voter thinks about when picking a candidate during the midterms?
Congressional and Statewide Races
Democrats took 3 of the Iowa’s 4 seats, unseating 2 Republican incumbents. They had a sizeable majority of the votes cast, so things looked good for the Democrats. If the theory holds up, the focus the Democrats kept on healthcare throughout the race would pay off. And it would seem it worked, right?
There’s a big problem here. If Democrats had made gains in Iowa because of healthcare issues, we should expect them to have a pretty resounding victory in the gubernatorial race and in the statehouse.
In the past two years, Iowa’s Republican governor made substantial changes to the state’s Medicaid program, resulting in its privatization. This was done with the expectation that the privatized program would lead to savings of up to $140 million.
However, this has caused a lot of discord, with one insurer pulling out of the program with no notice just months in—and there are payment issues with others. Furthermore, healthcare providers have claimed that these issues have been passed down the chain, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments owed.