by Jordan Roberts
Director of Government Affairs, John Locke Foundation
On November 6th, 2018 midterm voters will head to the polls in what is sure to be a very contentious election. Google has a midterm election tool to show what issues potential voters are most concerned with. It’s no surprise what the most popular issue for North Carolina voters:
President Trump (and Republicans since 2012) campaigned heavily on the message of “repealing and replacing” President Obama’s signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Congressional Republicans tried and failed several times to achieve this goal. The most meaningful congressional action on health care was through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 in which the individual mandate tax penalty was lowered to zero. The executive’s most meaningful action was an executive order that expanded people’s ability to enter into small group and association health plans.
In order to avoid controversial votes before the midterms, it seems like a fix to the nation’s health care system will be given another shot after November 6th, if Republicans can keep both houses of Congress. Democrats are campaigning on a message of expanding the government’s role in healthcare further than the ACA to a “Medicare for All” or single-payer system. Besides the individual mandate repeal, congressional Republicans have very little related to health care to bring home and show voters they accomplished. Regardless of who wins control of Congress in 2018, North Carolina voters are concerned with the future of their health care and will be paying attention to the candidate’s stance on the issue.