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Majority Trust Biden to Lead Healthcare System Amid COVID-19
Politics

Majority Trust Biden to Lead Healthcare System Amid COVID-19

Majority Trust Biden to Lead Healthcare System Amid COVID-19

Story Highlights

  • Biden trusted over Trump to guide healthcare system amid COVID-19
  • Reducing healthcare costs as important as COVID in vote importance
  • 84% of Black adults trust Biden more to ensure healthcare equality

This article concerns research conducted in partnership between West Health and Gallup, a family of nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations focused on lowering healthcare costs for seniors and on the rising cost of healthcare in the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- By a 52% to 39% margin, Americans trust Joe Biden over Donald Trump to lead the U.S. healthcare system most efficiently amid COVID-19. These data are based on a new study conducted by West Health and Gallup in the two days immediately following the first presidential debate, but before President Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19. The results largely run along party lines with Biden supported by 95% of Democrats and Trump supported by 88% of Republicans. However, among independents, Biden is trusted (47%) over Trump (40%).

Trust in Biden is substantially higher among women (58% to 32%) and among young adults under the age of 30 (62% to 25%). Among those who watched the debate, the results were similar to the overall total, with Biden holding a 53% to 40% edge.

Candidate Most Trusted to Lead U.S. Healthcare System Amid COVID-19
Which presidential candidate do you trust to lead the U.S. healthcare system most efficiently in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic?
Joe Biden Donald Trump Other candidate
% % %
U.S. total 52 39 9
POLITICAL IDENTITY:
Democrat 95 3 2
Republican 5 88 7
Independent 47 40 13
GENDER:
Women 58 32 10
Men 46 48 7
AGE:
18-29 62 25 12
30-44 56 32 12
45-64 45 48 7
65+ 48 46 4
West Health-Gallup Post Debate National Healthcare Poll, Sep 30-Oct 1, 2020
Gallup Panel

These results are based on a survey conducted by web from Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2020 with 1,518 adults, ages 18+, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia via the Gallup Panel, a scientifically populated panel of about 100,000 adults nationwide.

Reducing Cost of Healthcare Matches Pandemic in Voting Importance

Survey respondents were also asked to evaluate the importance of three health-related issues in determining their vote for president in the 2020 U.S. election: managing the coronavirus pandemic, reducing healthcare costs and lowering drug costs. Of these, managing the coronavirus pandemic and reducing the cost of healthcare were both cited as the most important or among the most important issues by two-thirds of respondents, compared with 45% for lowering drug costs.

Democrats are considerably more inclined than Republicans to report high importance on the pandemic (94% to 41%) and on reducing the cost of healthcare (81% to 52%) in influencing their vote. Conversely, about one-quarter of Republicans place low importance on the pandemic, compared with 12% of independents and just 1% of Democrats.

Reducing the costs of drugs, though lower in importance than the other two issues, is also the least politically polarizing; Democrats are only modestly more likely to report its influence on their vote.

Importance of Candidate's Position on Determining Vote in 2020 Presidential Election
How important are each of the following in determining your vote for president in the 2020 elections?
U.S. total Democrat Republican Independent
% % % %
MOST OR AMONG MOST IMPORTANT:
Managing the coronavirus pandemic 67 94 41 64
Reducing the cost of healthcare 66 81 52 62
Lowering the cost of drugs 45 49 41 44
LEAST OR AMONG LEAST IMPORTANT:
Managing the coronavirus pandemic 12 1 24 12
Reducing the cost of healthcare 6 2 8 8
Lowering the cost of drugs 12 12 12 11
West Health-Gallup Post Debate National Healthcare Poll, Sep 30-Oct 1, 2020
Gallup Panel

Black and Hispanic adults are somewhat more likely to place high importance on healthcare costs and managing the pandemic than are White adults. Black respondents assert a particularly high importance on managing the pandemic in their vote choice, reported by 88% compared with 71% among Hispanic respondents and 62% among White respondents.

Biden Trusted More to Ensure Racial Equality in Healthcare

A 54% majority also trusts Biden more to ensure racial equality in access to quality healthcare compared with 38% for Trump. While White adults are evenly split, an overwhelming majority of Black respondents trust Biden more (84% to 9%), while Hispanic respondents are twice as likely to better trust Biden (60% to 31%).

Candidate Most Trusted to Improve Racial Equality in Healthcare
Which presidential candidate do you trust more to improve racial equality in the access to quality healthcare in the U.S.?
Joe Biden Donald Trump Other candidate
% % %
U.S. total 54 38 8
RACE/ETHNICITY:
White Americans 46 45 8
Black Americans 84 9 7
Hispanic Americans 60 31 9
GENDER:
Women 61 30 8
Men 46 46 9
AGE:
18-29 67 20 13
30-44 58 30 12
45-64 46 47 6
65+ 49 47 4
West Health-Gallup Post Debate National Heatlhcare Poll, Sep 30-Oct 1, 2020
Gallup Panel

As with trust in managing the healthcare system amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden's leads in trust regarding equality in access to care are greatest among women (61% to 30%) and those aged 18-29 (67% to 20%). Among men and adults aged 45 and older, the two candidates are equally trusted.

Implications

Even before President Trump's diagnosis with COVID-19, which has had the effect of re-elevating the coronavirus issue in the national dialogue, managing the pandemic carried significant importance to U.S. adults in determining their vote for president. This is sensible given the impact of the pandemic on everyday life in the United States; out of the 128 countries worldwide with at least 5,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the U.S. has the 8th highest per capita death rate and has suffered the highest overall death count globally with over 210,000 total fatalities.

But the importance of U.S. healthcare more generally should not be understated as a major factor in influencing Americans' voting choice. Reigning in the cost of care is considered as important as the pandemic itself by U.S. adults, highlighting how this issue maintains a prevailing presence in voters' minds. And Biden's trust advantage in managing the healthcare system amid the pandemic underscores the intersection between the two issues.

The 2020 election season has also been characterized by racial strife and civil unrest, as well as the disproportionate COVID death rate and the disproportionate COVID positivity rate among Black and Hispanic persons. And despite the decline in the uninsured rate among these groups since the onset of the ACA's Health Insurance Marketplace, access to quality affordable care remains a critical issue for voters. Biden's trust advantage to manage this issue among Black and Hispanic adults likely contributes to support for his candidacy generally among these voter blocks.

Distinct differences are found between White and non-White Americans concerning healthcare worries amid the pandemic. For example, by a margin of nearly two to one, 58% of non-White adults in June reported that they were either "extremely concerned" or "concerned" about not being able to pay for the cost of care if diagnosed with COVID-19 compared with 32% among White respondents. And in April, 14% of U.S. adults, including 22% of non-White respondents, reported that they would avoid care for COVID symptoms due to concerns over costs.

Learn more about how the Gallup Panel works.


Gallup https://news.gallup.com/poll/321716/majority-trust-biden-lead-healthcare-system-amid-covid.aspx
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