Obama or Romney? Medscape Readers Pick Next President

Marrecca Fiore


June 18, 2012

Medscape Readers Vote on President, ACA

The majority of readers who responded to a recent Medscape survey say that they're not clear on where Mitt Romney stands on healthcare, although many would vote for him anyway.

But if Medscape readers had to vote today, they would re-elect Barack Obama to the presidency. Obama led by nearly 8 percentage points over Republican challenger Romney among the 8172 readers who responded to a survey administered between May 29 and June 13.

Obama's lead in Medscape's survey, which targeted its nationwide network of physicians and other healthcare professionals, was much more decisive than in most other national polls, where he is either tied with Romney or leading slightly.

In addition to asking readers whom they would vote for and whether they understood Romney's views on healthcare, the survey asked readers for their thoughts on the US Supreme Court deliberations on the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

As governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed into law healthcare legislation that closely mirrors the ACA, but readers appear stumped as to how he currently views healthcare. Of the respondents, 60.5% (4941 respondents) answered "no" to the question "With Mitt Romney almost certainly the Republican presidential candidate, do you have a clear idea about his views on healthcare?" Another 31.1%, or 2543 readers, answered "yes," while 8.4% (688 readers) answered "I don't know."

Approximately half of the survey participants (50.5%, or 4127) said Barack Obama would be their pick for president. Still, a hearty 42.7%, or 3486, said they would vote for Romney "if the election were held today." Other respondents (3.7%, or 300 readers) said they would vote for neither candidate, while 3.2%, or 259 readers, said they were undecided.

Reader opinion was nearly split when it came to supporting the ACA's individual mandate and Medicaid expansion program, but the majority of respondents believe that a negative ruling by the Supreme Court on the healthcare law "will harm the country."

Here are the remaining questions and the breakdown of results:

  • With the Supreme Court decisions looming on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), do you support the "individual mandate," which would require almost all Americans to purchase some form of health insurance by 2014 or face financial penalties? Yes: 49.5%, 4048; No: 43.9%, 3591; I don't know enough about it: 6.5%, 533

  • The ACA greatly expands the state-administered Medicaid healthcare program by extending eligibility to millions of currently ineligible low-income individuals. The states that are challenging the ACA argue that being forced to expand their share of Medicaid costs and administration unconstitutionally "coerces" state governments. Do you agree with the states' challenge? Yes: 45.4%, 3712; No: 44.0%, 3597; I don't know enough about it: 10.6%, 863

  • Do you think that a negative ruling by the Supreme Court on these issues will harm the country? Yes: 51.0%, 4166; No: 35.8%, 2928; I don't know: 13.2%, 1078