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NC Voters Won't Be Fooled by Political Ads

Kaiser polling shows Americans across the political spectrum support protections for pre-existing conditions, including 75 percent of Independents and 58 percent of Republicans. (albertolopezphoto/Twenty20)
Kaiser polling shows Americans across the political spectrum support protections for pre-existing conditions, including 75 percent of Independents and 58 percent of Republicans. (albertolopezphoto/Twenty20)
November 5, 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. — Health care appears to be a hot-button issue for voters in North Carolina and across the nation.

According to polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 75 percent of Americans say it's very important that the Affordable Care Act provision protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions remains law. Local constituents have made their voices heard at the polls and public meetings, including Wake Forest resident Julie Faenza, who has a pre-existing health condition.

"I want them to understand what's going to happen if they take away coverage for pre-existing conditions or protections under the Affordable Care Act,” Faenza said. “I am able to work and maintain my license as an attorney because I have access to semi-affordable health care right now."

Last week, Triangle area voters crashed a private function featuring state Reps. Chris Malone and Nelson Dollar, U.S. Rep. George Holding, and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. The group challenged what it called the "hypocrisy" of Republican lawmakers' claims in recent campaign ads about supporting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Several GOP ads running in North Carolina mention protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions. But some Republican lawmakers have voted to dismantle the ACA, which would undermine the existing protections.

Small business owners like Carol Brathwaite don't believe the ads. She said the ACA is important for small businesses like hers, and she’s waiting for the GOP to offer a suitable alternative.

"Right now, we need to work with the structure of what we have, revise it, reform it and allow it to be something that it's a manageable expense for small business owners,” Brathwaite said. "You know, we should have a voice, too, in what happens."

North Carolina has not yet expanded Medicaid under the ACA, leaving more than 600,000 people in the coverage gap, unable to afford health insurance or ineligible for federal subsidies to help pay for it.

Antionette Kerr, Public News Service - NC