Health policy issues have mostly taken a backseat during presidential campaigning this summer, but Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has proposed fixes to some of the top voter concerns while Republican candidate Donald Trump has focused on railing against the Affordable Care Act, which is still highly unpopular among his voter base.
Voters' biggest concern as measured in the most recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll was the future of Medicare, closely followed by access and affordability of healthcare.
Clinton has addressed these issues during the campaign by proposing requiring health plans to cover three annual visits to a doctor before applying the deductible and giving tax credits for high out-of-pocket costs.
She has said she would work to get more states to expand Medicaid, including by extending the 100% federal match for another three years. The Kaiser poll found that more than half of voters said the future of Medicaid should be a top priority for candidates.
Trump has given fewer details about how he would deal with health policy issues and has mostly stuck with saying the ACA should be repealed. Republicans still strongly oppose the law and say Trump would do a better job at handling its future.
More than 50% of voters surveyed said the cost of prescription drugs should be a top priority for candidates. Clinton has suggested capping out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs and letting Medicare negotiate drug prices. Trump also discussed allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices during the primaries but hasn't mentioned it recently. It wasn't included in the Republican Party's official platform.
The poll also found that voters continue to believe Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton would deal with health issues better than Republican candidate Donald Trump, though few voters said their own ability to access affordable care would improve with either candidate.
Another finding was that Americans are paying more attention to news about the Zika virus and more than 70% think funding the outbreak should be an important priority for Congress, which returns from its summer break next week.
Clinton has called on Congress to approve funding and suggested a special session be convened during the break to do so. Trump has mostly been quiet about Zika on the campaign trail, but said in an interview with the Miami Herald that Congress should approve funding.
Zika was the most closely followed news story among health issues. About 60% said they are following the story closely. The opioid epidemic was next with 53% following very or fairly closely. About 40% said they were closely following rising premiums under the ACA and insurance companies leaving the marketplace.
The August health tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation surveyed about 1,200 voters from Aug. 18-24.