Health Care Proposals in the 50 State of the State Speeches

In six of the last nine years, Public Opinion Strategies has analyzed the policy proposals put forth by every state’s governor in their annual State of the State speeches.  Overall, there were 580 policy proposals this year—370 from Republican governors, 196 from Democratic governors, and the remainder from an Independent.

Ten percent (10{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) of this year’s proposals focused on health care.  This is fewer than we have measured in the past:  In the five years preceding the passage of the Affordable Care Act, 16{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of the governors’ proposals were related to health care.  This drop comes largely from Democrats, who, before their party’s health care overhaul devoted 19{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of their policy prescriptions to health care, spent less than half that (9{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) on the topic this year.  Republicans devoted 11{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of their proposals to health care this year, which is roughly consistent with their pre-ACA average of 13{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}.

The dominant focus across all the health care proposals was implementing the ACA, specifically Medicaid expansion.

  • Some governors were supportive:  “It’s the smart thing to do,” declared Missouri’s Jay Nixon, a Democrat.Democrat Jay Inslee of Washington explained, “Effectively implementing the Affordable Care Act will save us money… When we make our health care system more efficient, we lower the cost of doing business in our state.  The states that get this right will have a clear advantage in recruiting and retaining the jobs of tomorrow.”“Last month, I announced that Nevada would comply with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act as they related to the expansion of Medicaid services.  As a result, some 78,000 more Nevadans will now have coverage,” said Republican Brian Sandoval.
  • Others were begrudging.  “I didn’t support Obamacare.  But it’s the law of the land.  The election is over and the Supreme Court has ruled.  My job is not to play party politics, but to implement this law in a way that best serves New Mexico,” explained Republican Susana Martinez.
  • Still others remained steadfast in opposition:  “As long as I am governor, South Carolina will not implement the public policy disaster that is Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion,” declared Republican Nikki Haley.“We have made it clear Texas will not expand Medicaid under the ACA…We won’t set up a state exchange…Texas will not drive millions more into an unsustainable system,” proclaimed Rick Perry.

In the aftermath of recent mass shootings that called attention to the interplay between mental health and public safety, governors gave significant consideration to mental health services, including proposing a renewed focus on mental health training, revamping their states’ mental health systems, and improving the protocol for reporting individuals who could pose a threat to themselves or to others.  Some governors emphasized redoubling efforts on suicide prevention and substance abuse programs.

Many governors of states with large rural populations called for adding slots in medical schools and residency programs, renovating medical training facilities, and incentivizing more health care providers to work in underserved communities.

You can read a full list of the governors’ health care proposals here.
Trend data from previous years can be found here.
A comprehensive list of all this year’s policy proposals can be found here.

Research assistance was provided by Martin Shull.

Similar Articles

  • Impeachment Fever Has Hit House Democrats
    read more

  • Public Opinion Strategies Congratulates Karen Handel on Winning GA-06
    read more

  • The Democrats’ Pivot
    read more

    read more

    read more

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :