KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Voters Will Get Their Say on Multiple Health Issues

by | Oct 27, 2022 | Health

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Voters in several states will be asked to vote on ballot questions related to abortion, but it’s not the only health issue that will be decided on Election Day. Other ballot proposals will ask voters whether they want to curb interest on medical debt (Arizona), expand Medicaid (South Dakota), or make health care a right under the state constitution (Oregon).

Meanwhile, plaintiffs in a suit charging that the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to provide preventive medication against HIV are expanding their scope. Now they want the judge to rule that all preventive benefits under the health law are unconstitutional.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call, and Victoria Knight of Axios.

Among the takeaways from this week’s episode:

The South Dakota ballot measure is the latest effort by health care advocates in conservative states to get a Medicaid expansion despite resistance from state officials. South Dakota’s governor and state legislature have refused to make the move. In recent years, voters in several of those states, including Idaho, Missouri, and Utah, have pushed the expansion forward over officials’ objections through voter initiatives.Arizona’s unique ballot measure would limit interest rates on medical debt, among other things. It’s a bit of an under-the-radar issue, but if Arizona passes the measure, it could spur other states to try similar initiatives.A handful of states will also be voting on abortion issues. In Kentucky, the legislature has put forward a constitutional amendment that says abortion rights aren’t protected by the state constitution and that government funding for abortions is not required. Voters in another red state, Kansas, surprised political pundits last summer when they overwhelmingly voted to maintain the right to abortion access, so the Kentucky results will be watched closely. If voters disapprove of the measure, it would be the first Southern state where voters have turned against the tide of legislation seeking to restrict abortion.On the other hand, two reliably blue states — California and …

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