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Partisan Divide Over Health Care Reform
The American Health Care Act (AHCA) is a GOP-sponsored bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The plan was first publicly released by House Republicans in March 2017, and after failing to receive the appropriate number of votes to pass in the first round, had to undergo a series of revisions.
In May 2017, House Republicans voted to pass the AHCA by a narrow 217-213 vote. The bill is up for deliberation in the Senate, where it only needs a simple majority to pass. The AHCA would repeal sections of the ACA within the scope of the federal budget.
While there has been no shortage of partisan in-fighting regarding the issue displayed on primetime TV, what do citizens actually want out of their health care?
Accessing reliable and representative data is often a challenge for elected officials and advocacy organizations. Traditional polling is costly and time-consuming, mainly due to dropping response rates over landline calls. Online polling is often faster and more expedient, but it’s difficult to ensure participants of the poll are human, let alone part of your target audience.
This calls for a polling solution that offers:
- A reliable, representative measure of public opinion
- The capability to dive into a topic past surface-level questions
- Audience targeting from the national to municipal level
- The ability to poll via web and mobile
Using Civic Tech to Gather and Analyze Public Opinion
Civic engagement solution icitizen provided the polling services needed to drive public discourse on the issue. Using sound methodology and its online platform, the icitizen polling team accurately assessed whether:
- U.S. adults believe AHCA will have a positive or negative impact on their household
- Respondents supported or opposed sections of AHCA once it was unpacked
|Targeted Nationwide||1,473 Respondents||May 5-15, 2017|
The survey was conducted online from May 5-15, 2017 among 1,473 Americans nationwide. The data were weighted to U.S. Census benchmarks for gender, age, race, education, and national benchmarks for party identification. The margin of error for the full sample is 2.55%.
Being Heard: Americans Want Quality Care
Focusing on what the public desires from a government health care solution, the results of the icitizen poll were clear: Americans want quality care.
To elevate civic discourse in Middle Tennessee, the poll results were featured in an in-depth op-ed piece in The Tennessean by Opinion Engagement Editor David Plazas. He used the data to paint a picture of how Americans feel about the health care bill, as well as the implications of AHCA on overall coverage in the country.
The detailed results were not only delivered to the media, but were also sent to elected officials to drive policy discussion as the bill is up for debate in the Senate.
||Using a civic engagement tool that makes it convenient for citizens to influence policy decisions, people made their voices heard on icitizen around a hotly contested issue. Their feedback was then quantified, and delivered to journalists and elected leaders to inform discussions.|
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