WebMD Polls: Two-thirds Rank Candidates’ Healthcare Plans and COVID-19 Strategy ‘Very Important’ Factors in How They Plan to Vote

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Women More Likely Than Men to Rank Healthcare and COVID-19 Strategies as Priorities

Doctors and Nurses Say COVID-19 Response Influencing their Vote

New York, NY, October 2, 2020 – A new poll from WebMD finds that more than 67% of respondents rank the healthcare policies of the presidential candidates as “very important” factors in determining who they plan to vote for, the majority of them women.

Of those indicating that the candidates’ healthcare policies were a high priority, 51% describe themselves as female, as compared with 19% of those describing themselves as male.  An even greater percentage of total respondents, 69.5%, ranked the candidates’ plans for managing the COVID-19 pandemic going forward as very important, with a similar gender breakdown (48.2% versus 20.4%).

The majority of respondents (59%) said they understand the candidates’ healthcare plans, with more women than men indicating that they do, (40% versus 19%)

The poll of 1,000 WebMD readers was conducted on Sept. 25.

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“This country is facing serious issues related to health and healthcare. We’re eight months into a pandemic that continues to challenge us, millions of people have already lost their health insurance and millions more are at risk if they lose their jobs,” said John Whyte, MD, chief medical office at WebMD. “Given these challenges, it’s no wonder these issues are top of mind for voters.”

Most Doctors and Nurses Prefer Biden Healthcare Plan, and Say COVID-19 Response Influencing Their Vote

The results of a poll of more than 400 physicians and nurses from Medscape, WebMD’s professional platform, were similar, with 93-94% of respondents indicating that healthcare will be an important factor in their voting decisions.

Most physicians and nurses rated the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic as poor (70% and 66%, respectively), with nearly two-thirds saying the COVID-19 response will influence their vote "a lot."

More than twice as many clinicians said they prefer former Vice President Joe Biden's healthcare plan to President Trump's. Nearly 60% of physicians prefer Biden’s plan, as do 52%  of nurses.

Biden has campaigned on a healthcare plan that builds on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), adds a public option, and increases marketplace subsidies. The Trump administration is supporting the lawsuit filed to overturn the ACA by 18 Republican-led states, but has not yet released a detailed healthcare plan.

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Sources: WebMD poll of 1,000 readers, Sept. 25, 2020; Medscape Poll of 416 physicians and nurses, Sept. 23, 2020

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About Medscape

Medscape is the leading source of clinical news, health information, and point-of-care tools for health care professionals. Medscape offers specialists, primary care physicians, and other health professionals the most robust and integrated medical information and educational tools. Medscape Education ( is the leading destination for continuous professional development, consisting of more than 30 specialty-focused destinations offering thousands of free C.M.E. and C.E. courses and other educational programs for physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals. Medscape is a subsidiary of WebMD Health Corp.

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