THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
A recent survey is providing an insight into how Covid-19 and healthcare needs are influencing the views of Americans in the run up to the 2020 US Elections.
The headline figure from the study, which was organized by HealthInsurance.com and took place between July 3 and July 6, found that 60% of respondents are "willing to risk their health to vote in person in November". In person voting has been subject to a great deal of scrutiny during the pandemic and associated lockdowns, with suggestions that more mail-in ballots should be permitted, particularly for those who are shielding. Overseas Americans are in a slightly more fortunate position, in that US voters living abroad can submit their ballot whilst outside of the US - if you haven't already, it's best to fill out and send your Federal Post Card Application as soon as possible due to another consequence of Covid-19 - delays in international postal services.
The survey also found that respondents were split on what is the most important issue as we head into the 2020 election. 50% said the economy, 50% said healthcare.
Highlighting the cost of medical care as a key factor, 92% said that prescription drug prices in the US are too high, 93% said medical prices in general are too high, and 93% said "prices for medical procedures should be as transparent as prices of food in the supermarket". 64% of respondents also say that they pay too much for health insurance.
On the ways in which Covid-19 is affecting life in America, 74% of respondents felt that the US needs to take another 'pause' to contain the spread of the virus. 89% say they are still taking precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19, 88% said they would comply with further lockdowns, while 85% say that masks help prevent the spread of the virus. On the subject of masks, 77% of respondents feel wearing a mask should be a requirement, with 73% in favor of fines for those who don't wear a mask.
The way healthcare is offered could also be changing due to the pandemic. According to the survey, before the pandemic, only 20% of respondents used telemedicine, compared to 43% during Covid-19. 56% say that doctors are offering virtual visits, and 60% of those who had used telemedicine during the pandemic say they would use it again. However, 69% of respondents to the survey said they were hesitant about using telemedicine "with the concern that the care is not as good as an in-person visit". 70% also cited cost, saying that "telemedicine and in-person appointments should be priced differently".
The survey paints an interesting picture into how healthcare is becoming a key subject in the run up to the 2020 Election, both in terms of the cost of healthcare and the implementation of healthcare services. The main takeaway should, as always, be that the best way to have your voice heard on issues that matter to you is to vote. Particularly if you're an overseas American, it's recommended to register your right to vote via an FPCA as soon as possible to avoid delays due to ongoing disruption with international mail. For more information on voting, check out www.fvap.gov
You can see the full survey and its results via www.healthinsurance.com/learning-center/article/politics-economy-and-healthcare-during-covid-19