How Will the Newly Insured Vote?

Drew Altman asks: “How will the newly insured behave at the ballot box? Will they vote? Will they become a Democratic constituency? The ACA may be an issue in the 2016 elections, but the newly insured are unlikely to become an important electoral factor themselves.”

“One potential indicator of future behavior is how the newly insured behaved politically when they didn’t have health coverage … While the uninsured shade Democratic as a group, they are a reasonably heterogeneous … The largest share of uninsured independents describe themselves as not leaning Republican or Democratic. These uninsured independents are the most likely to be disengaged from the political process.”

“Surveys have found that most of the previously uninsured like their coverage–a Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 76% do–but it’s not known whether appreciation for that coverage will be a factor when they vote or if they will vote in significant numbers. It is a fair bet that in the short term the newly insured will behave politically much like the uninsured have: Many will not vote, and they will continue to represent a very small slice of the electorate.”

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  • S1AMER

    One reason so many people didn’t have insurance was because they didn’t vote (squeeky wheels get greased and all that). And they may lose insurance if they don’t vote.

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