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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

With Trump Entrance of Thoughts, New Hampshire Voters Cite Abortion and Obamacare as Considerations

HANOVER, N.H. — Well being care points are necessary to Lana Leggett-Kealey, who works as a genetic genealogist. However on Tuesday, as she walked out of her polling place at a neighborhood highschool and right into a frigid New England morning, she mentioned she had one thing larger on her thoughts when she forged her vote.

“I wish to ensure that now we have somebody competent within the White Home,” she mentioned. She wrote in President Joe Biden’s identify on her poll in New Hampshire’s Democratic major.

The Inexpensive Care Act’s future is necessary to Robert Stanhope, a retired invoice collector. He mentioned he additionally wrote in Biden, whose administration has labored to cut back prices below the ACA.

However that wasn’t his motivation for his early-morning go to to the polls. “I’m right here to maintain Trump out of workplace,” Stanhope mentioned.

Elaine Kozma, 73, of New London mentioned well being care points are vitally necessary to her as a most cancers survivor. She mentioned she voted for Republican Nikki Haley, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina governor, whom she thinks she will belief greater than former President Donald Trump.

Voters casting their first ballots within the 2024 presidential election cycle on Tuesday framed well being care as a back-burner concern, capping years of political wrangling over Obamacare and a pandemic that strained the nation’s well being system.

In interviews with greater than 50 voters this week in New Hampshire — a state the place 95% of residents have medical insurance, one of many highest charges within the nation — most individuals mentioned their vote was about Trump, like him or hate him. However well being care considerations — about prices, entry, and, particularly amongst Democrats, abortion — weren’t removed from many citizens’ minds.

“I’ve two daughters and 5 sisters and a mother, so ensuring girls’s reproductive rights are protected is necessary to me,” mentioned Rob Houseman, 60, a city official in Hanover. Frightened that Republicans will attempt to “weaponize well being care” as an alternative of making certain entry, he mentioned he voted for Biden.

A man wearing a beanie holds a pair of shoes inside a shoe repair store
DJ Annicchiarico, co-owner of United Shoe Restore in downtown Harmony, is a registered Democrat who wasn’t planning to vote within the major and is undecided about voting for Biden within the basic election. His foremost concern is inflation, however he additionally faults Biden for not controlling well being prices. “I don’t like Trump and I don’t like Biden both,” he says.(Phil Galewitz/KFF Well being Information)

Trump defeated Haley within the state’s GOP major, in response to The Related Press. Biden, who didn’t seem on the poll on account of disagreements over the first schedule, gained the Democratic contest owing partly to a vigorous write-in marketing campaign.

Many against Trump cited considerations about his health to guide, whereas most Trump voters who spoke with KFF Well being Information mentioned they supported him for 2 foremost causes: They hoped he would scale back unlawful immigration and decrease inflation.

Democratic voters have been extra doubtless than Republicans to quote heath care as a key concern within the election.

“Oh my, sure,” mentioned Ben Gilson, 90, a retired orthopedic surgeon. “Well being care is my No. 1 concern.”

Whereas he mentioned he has glorious protection and pays little in out-of-pocket prices, he worries many youthful individuals wrestle and desires to ensure Obamacare is retained. One in every of Trump’s earliest guarantees throughout his 2016 marketing campaign was to repeal and exchange the ACA — a vow he has not too long ago revived in his newest try to win the White Home.

In New London, Kate Turcotte, a professor at Colby-Sawyer Faculty, mentioned 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 mentioned she additionally worries Trump will attempt to minimize well being take care of probably the most susceptible. “Well being care needs to be a proper, not a privilege,” she mentioned.

Elaine Kozma of New London, New Hampshire, voted for former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley as a protest vote towards former President Donald Trump within the Republican presidential major. Kozma is a most cancers survivor who says Medicare protection has been good for her. Well being is a matter for her, however she primarily needs to ensure Trump doesn’t get again into workplace. (Phil Galewitz/KFF Well being Information)

Artwork Sullivan of Hooksett says immigration is his foremost concern within the major and that he’s voting for Trump. He says he worries immigrants coming into the U.S. with out authorization will have an effect on his kids by means of greater taxes. He says he’s joyful together with his Medicare plan, which covers his payments. (Phil Galewitz/KFF Well being Information)

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

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

Kathy Franqui, 54, of Merrimack, mentioned the border and immigration have been her foremost causes for voting for Trump. However she additionally mentioned Trump would scale back well being prices.

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

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

Each she and her husband, who declined to present his identify, mentioned they have been involved about abortion restrictions Trump might impose.

Kathy Franqui of Merrimack voted for Trump as a result of she thinks he’ll assist cut back well being prices in addition to enhance border safety. (Phil Galewitz/KFF Well being Information)

Sitting exterior the espresso store within the freezing climate was Artwork Sullivan, 75, of Hooksett, who mentioned immigration was his overriding concern within the election — and why he was voting for Trump.

Requested if he had been personally affected by immigration, he mentioned he was frightened his kids must shoulder the monetary burden of individuals coming into the U.S. with out authorization.

“The border is a shame,” mentioned Sullivan, who mentioned he’s a registered impartial voter and sells swimming swimming pools.

Requested if well being care was one thing he thought of when evaluating candidates, he mentioned he had a Medicare Benefit plan that covers his payments and gives entry to care.

DJ Annicchiarico, co-owner of United Shoe Restore in downtown Harmony, mentioned he’s a registered Democrat. However whereas he prefers Biden on well being points, he’s not but persuaded to vote for him in November.

His foremost concern is inflation. He mentioned the ACA, which he described as a step in the suitable course, had helped decrease his insurance coverage premiums however hadn’t managed well being care costs. “One thing must be performed to rein in inflation,” he mentioned.

Annicchiarico mentioned he needs to see well being care costs regulated by the federal authorities and worries Trump would attempt to repeal the ACA. He famous entry continues to be a problem and mentioned getting a dermatology appointment for his daughter meant ready eight months.

Ben Gilson of Hanover voted for Biden. “Oh my, sure,” he mentioned when requested if well being care was a problem this 12 months in deciding for whom to vote. The retired orthopedic surgeon says he has glorious well being protection however is frightened about many individuals with out it. Gilson additionally worries about GOP efforts to repeal the ACA. (Phil Galewitz/KFF Well being Information)

Aalianna Marietta, 21, a university pupil, mentioned well being care was necessary to her, notably abortion rights, so she could be voting for Biden. “I’m 100% pro-choice, and I can’t see myself voting for somebody who’s racist and a misogynist,” she mentioned of Trump.

Deb Shope, 57, out strolling her canine in Lebanon, mentioned well being care is a high concern for her as a result of she works as a medical social employee and sees how necessary good well being protection could be. She mentioned she was voting for Biden as a result of she preferred how he has tried to assist individuals get protection and deal with their psychological well being care wants.

Shope mentioned it’s laborious to look past how Trump acts as an individual. Requested if she is frightened about him getting reelected, she mentioned individuals shouldn’t fear about issues out of their management.

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