Iowa City Today

Iowa City Today

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Republicans seek better messaging on health care in 2020 races


By Sarah Downey | Dec 23, 2019


As polls show health care among the most important issues in the 2020 election, Iowa Republicans are considering ways to appeal to voters on the issue.

Clarifying where they stand on the topic is an important step, State Sen. Mark Costello, R-Imogene, told Iowa City Today.

“We need to come back with what we’ve done and what our exact positions are instead of what we’re said to have as positions,” Costello said.

The issue of health care proved particularly divisive in the 2018 race between Republican incumbent David Young and Democrat Cindy Axne in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. Young, who lost by 2 percentage points, earlier this year announced he is launching his campaign to retake the seat.

The health-care message candidates present to suburban voters will be key, Costello said.

A story in the Iowa State Daily cited a YouGov poll showing health care as the most important issue to 19 percent of Americans, 29 percent for Democratic voters.

Top Democratic presidential candidates have been pushing versions of “Medicare for All.” But how it would be paid for is open to question.

Another poll, cited in a USA Today report, showed more than half of potential Iowa Democratic caucus voters would choose a plan other than “Medicare for All.”

Republicans perpetually strive for ways to keep insurance costs down, Costello said, and transparency on that issue will be paramount in the next election cycle.

“We have been continually working on these issues and looking for ways to improve the system. Sometimes, I don’t know if people realize how much we have done,” Costello said.

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a new law this past spring to create a comprehensive children's mental health care system in Iowa, Costello said.

Republicans will have a more powerful response on health care ]in the next election cycle, he said.

“We are always trying to do things better, trying to keep the cost of insurance down,” he said.

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