Fayette County


Florida: Bellwether state for Georgia?

Jack Bernard, a retired SVP with a large national healthcare firm, has worked extensively with hospitals across the nation regarding cost containment and insurance. He was also the first Director of Health Planning for Georgia.
Jack Bernard is a retired healthcare SVP and nationally published columnist. He was the Chairman of the Republican Party and County Commission in Jasper County.

On 9-25, Florida Sen. Nelson lead Gov. Scott by 53%-46% (Quinnipiac poll). On 10-22 it is now 52%- 46%. Nelson’s lead is holding, as is his support from minorities, women and independents (60%-38%). Scott is still ahead in the white vote (53%-44%).
The 10-22 CNN poll shows a 5-point advantage for Nelson. CNN indicates Gillum ahead by 12 points, 54% to 42%.
This trend may have consequences for the nation. CNN looked at Trump support in other battleground states. In Florida, 43% approve of his performance. Arizona is even less, 39%. Nevada is another problem for the Republicans, with approval at 45%. It would seem pretty obvious the GOP is in trouble there.
What will happen in Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas where the Trump approval rate is higher? As it gets closer to the election, will the Trump support drop off?
If so, the Democrats have a fighting chance of retaking the Senate, if not, they may even lose seats. North Dakota is particularly shaky, especially after Kavanaugh.
Here in Georgia, the Governor’s race is also very close. Some polls even have Stacey Abrams, the first African-American women to ever run for this state office, ahead.
Interestingly, healthcare is the strongest issue in motivating those leaning Democratic, both here and nationally. The economy is the driving force for Republicans.
Trump gave the Democrats the healthcare on a silver platter by appointing right winger Dr. Tom Price as DHHS Secretary. Rep. Price of Atlanta had a long history of out of the mainstream views on healthcare “reform”. Per the Atlantic (11-29-16), Price wanted to totally dump the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and substitute his own plan which: a. gave small tax credits (starting at only $1200 for younger taxpayers); b. denied coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions with 18 month plus breaks in coverage; c. capped corporate health benefit deductibility, which would cause premiums and deductibles to rise for workers; d. create high risk pools, which have already failed in numerous states due to underfunding. Between Price and his successor (Azar) actions have been taken which have had a detrimental effect on the ACA. Premiums have skyrocketed (per Century Foundation study, 3-22-18), and 2018 coverage is now down 3.7% (National Academy for State Health Policy). These negative actions have had the opposite of effect of what the administration desired.
Support for the ACA upon its enactment in 2010 was low, dropping to 35% in 2013 (KFF, 3-1-18). But, with the national uninsured rate dropping, the approval rate has dramatically risen to around 55%…and is a driving force in this election locally and nationally.
Will this election be a minor correction …or a major blue wave here and elsewhere? We will know all what happens on November  6th.