Health Care in 2009
202.776.9066 | www.lakeresearch.com | November 6, 2008
Lake Research Partners
The 2008 election delivered a substantial mandate for real change. Barack
Obama’s central argument in the closing days of the campaign was that it was time to
turn the page on the last 8 years and try something new. The margin of victory
underscores that the voters are ready for change.
The results of the presidential and congressional elections complete the wave
that started in 2006. Four years ago, voters wanted change, but felt cross-pressured
by the 9/11 dynamic. In 2006, terrorism was not enough to offset weak job approval
ratings for President Bush and the Congress. And in 2008 voters completed their
repudiation of conservative Republican ideas.
• Health care reform is a key element of the change that voters demand.
Consistently over the past year and a half, voters have expressed concern over rising
costs and limited access and expressed an appetite for a larger government role.
The economy dominated this election as a voting issue. All other issues took a
back seat to the economic crisis. The health care issue was the top personal
The weak state of the economy presents a challenge to health care reform, but
also an opportunity. While many politicians will instinctively seek to pull back on
spending, health care is one of the key components of voters’ economic anxiety.
Advocates need to drive this point home to policy makers.
The economy dominated this election. Obama won
by being the most trusted voice on the economy. He
also appealed to voters specifically concerned about
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%
Health Care (9%)
Energy Policy (7%)
Source: CNN 2008 Exit Polls.
• Even after the financial collapse on Wall Street,