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Election experts testify before the US House that more funding is necessary. And Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington state had primaries yesterday; Hawaii and Tennessee have them later this week.

Minnesotans Cast Votes on America's Healthcare Future

Minnesota traditionally has the nation's highest voter turnout and this year is no exception, with voter attention on health care and tariffs. (mhealth.org)
Minnesota traditionally has the nation's highest voter turnout and this year is no exception, with voter attention on health care and tariffs. (mhealth.org)
November 5, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Healthcare and especially coverage of pre-existing conditions will be deciding factors for many U.S. citizens voting in tomorrow's midterms.

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies are not allowed to refuse coverage or charge more when people have health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or cancer. In a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 75 percent of those surveyed said it's "very important" to ensure pre-existing conditions remain covered.

Marigaux Childs, who co-owns a small commercial cleaning business in Minneapolis, said a candidate's support for the ACA will influence her vote.

"I'm looking for candidates who want to support the Affordable Care Act,” Childs said. “We should look to see what's working and see what's not working, and find ways to improve on things that are not working and make things that are working better."

The poll found women of all ages, races and party affiliations said the availability of healthcare is their first or second priority in tomorrow's midterms.

Denying health insurance to people with pre-exisiting conditions was a common practice on the individual market before the Affordable Care Act took full effect in 2014. Today, Childs said it would be best for her business if "make it better" replaced the old rallying cry to "repeal and replace."

"I like having the option to be able to get health insurance similar to what you would get if you worked for a large corporation,” she said. “As a small business owner, I like that those options are available."

The ACA also allowed states to expand Medicaid eligibility to uninsured adults and children living at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Medicaid expansion is on the midterm ballot in conservative states such as Idaho, Montana, Nebraska and Utah, as well as states considered politically moderate, including Maine and Virginia.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - MN