Why Republicans are being forced to play defense on health care

Republicans are all talk and little action on protecting pre-existing conditions.
November 1, 2018, 6:00pm

Healthcare is once again a top priority for voters — almost three quarters list the issue as “very important,” according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But unlike four years ago, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was deeply unpopular, voters have warmed to the law.

The shift has empowered Democrats, who have turned healthcare into their primary campaign issue. They're stumping for the ACA, protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and the importance of Medicaid expansions. Republicans, on the other hand, have been pushed into an unfamiliar position: playing defense on an issue they’ve owned for almost a decade.

VICE News traveled to Ohio to talk to Richard Cordray, the Democratic candidate for governor, about the growing popularity of the ACA, the change in Republican messaging, and whether Republicans who are now promising to protect people with pre-existing conditions — like his opponent Mike DeWine who refused to speak with us — actually have a plan to do it.

"Health care, like consumer finance, is a subject that can get quite complicated in it's details," Cordray told VICE News. "But on the surface and as a topline matter it’s not that complicated for people."

This segment originally aired October 31, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.