(Nenad Stojkovic/Flickr)

Healthcare is an ever-present issue in the minds of politicians and voters alike. While differing on specific policy priorities, both Democrats and Republicans voters indicate healthcare is of importance when selecting candidates. 

RELATED: Surveys Show Both Democrats and Republicans Support Healthcare Improvements

As the 2022 midterm elections quickly approach, many candidates are sharing their stances on the issue of healthcare and their personal plans for moving policies forward should they take office. As decisions regarding health reform hold weight at both the state and federal levels, the issue is prevalent in Senate, House, and gubernatorial races alike. 

AllSides examined where the 2022 candidates stand and what each is saying in regards to the controversial topic of healthcare. Let’s take a look at some of the candidates in key races.

Senate Elections

Nevada

Catherine Cortez Masto (D, Incumbent)

“Every Nevadan deserves access to affordable health care. That's why I fought to pass the Inflation Reduction Act to protect access to quality care and lower health care costs for Nevadans.”


Catherine Cortez Masto supports expanding access to healthcare. She has voted to defend the Affordable Care Act, reject an “Age Tax,” and maintain protections for those with pre-existing conditions. She favors lowering both healthcare and prescription drug costs. Additionally, she advocates for expanding mental health services.

Adam Laxalt (R)

“First and foremost, as I have said repeatedly, it’s important that Nevadans know I will not roll back the Medicaid expansion implemented by Governor Brian Sandoval. That said, there are a number of challenges our state faces in our approach to Medicaid policy that must be addressed in order to ensure that the program is strong and available to those who need it today, and will need it in the future.”

Despite his historical opposition to Obamacare, Adam Laxalt plans to continue Medicaid coverage for Nevadans while instating greater work requirements. He believes in leveraging competition to lower drug prices. Additionally, his policy plan includes a program called “Tomorrow’s Doctors” that offers loan forgiveness for medical students that practice in Nevada for a number of years. 

See more on the candidates in this race from our friends at guides.vote.

Pennsylvania

John Fetterman (D)


“I believe that health care is a basic, fundamental human right, not a privilege. But health care in America is far too expensive and convoluted. In the richest nation on earth, I believe we have a moral duty to guarantee quality health care coverage for every American, and end the disgusting practice of corporations profiting from people’s health and well-being.”

Jonathan Fetterman believes in expanding healthcare access and making healthcare as well as prescription drugs more affordable. He supports expanding Medicaid and vows to support legislation to bring the country closer to universal healthcare coverage. He also supports lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare.

Mehmet Oz (R)

“Obamacare caused havoc on our health care system. It destabilized insurance markets while raising taxes & imposing harmful mandates on Pennsylvanians. I wouldn't have voted for it. Like President Trump, I want to expand access to affordable, private-sector plans.”

Mehmet Oz’s campaign website outlines his plans in regards to healthcare policy. He supports policies that would expand access to private sector plans as were implemented by former President Trump under the “Medicare Advantage for All” plan. Oz calls his plan “Medicare Advantage Plus” and prioritizes high-quality, low-cost programs for seniors. 

See more on the candidates in this race from our friends at guides.vote.

Wisconsin

Mandela Barnes (D)

“We need America on a path to universal health care with lower costs and high quality coverage. I’m proud to join Tammy Baldwin in support of Medicare for All which is the quickest way to get there.”

Mandela Barnes believes in expanding healthcare coverage and affordability to increase access for all. He vows to promote legislation to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and give Medicaid the power to negotiate drug prices. He also supports lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare.

Ron Johnson (R, Incumbent)

(When asked “Do you personally consider healthcare as a privilege or a right?"): “I think it's probably more of a privilege. Do you consider food a right? Do you consider clothing a right? Do you consider shelter a right? What we have as rights is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Past that point, we have the right to freedom. Past that point is a limited resource that we have to use our opportunities given to us to afford those things."

Ron Johnson does not support the expansion of Medicare and has said he considers healthcare to be more of a privilege than a right. He supports repealing Obamacare and reforming the health care system as he feels Obamacare has only exacerbated existing problems and created new problems as well. He instead advocates for a system based on consumer choice and free markets. 

See more on the candidates in this race from our friends at guides.vote.

Gubernatorial Elections

Michigan

Gretchen Whitmer (D, Incumbent)

“When I was in the State Legislature, I worked across the aisle with a Republican Governor to establish Healthy Michigan, and today, I have the honor to watch this successful program cover one million and counting of our neighbors, family, and friends. Healthy Michigan has helped so many Michiganders get the care they need to thrive, and I will work with anyone to bolster the program, expand coverage, and lower the cost of health care.”

Gretchen Whitmer believes in increasing the government’s role in health care to expand access and lower drug prices. She has already made strides in this area in expanding the Healthy Michigan Plan as well as Medicaid coverage for mothers and infants through her Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies initiative. She also advocates for increasing access and affordability of mental health services and supports the Inflation Reduction Act to aid in lowering prescription drug prices and reducing insurance premiums. 

Tudor Dixon (R)

“I’m calling on Gretchen Whitmer to join me in asking our Democrat Senators from Michigan to vote NO on the misleadingly named Inflation Reduction Act as it will raise taxes on all Michiganders which is the last thing they can afford right now.”

Tudor Dixon has a variety of policy goals in mind when it comes to healthcare. She opposes the Inflation Reduction Act based on concerns of raising taxes. She was also vocal against lockdowns as a result of Covid-19 and opposes vaccine mandates. However, she supports expanding mental health care. 

See more on the candidates in this race from our friends at guides.vote.

Ohio

Nan Whaley (D)

“No Ohioan should have to choose between keeping food on the table and paying for life-saving medicine, no matter where they live in our state.”

Nan Whaley believes health care should be expanded and is passionate about lowering drug prices. Her proposed policies include legislation to fine drug companies that increase prices unfairly and limit insulin costs to $30 per month. She also supports the Affordable Care Act and believes in increasing both transparency and oversight within the healthcare system as a whole. 

Mike DeWine (R, Incumbent)

“The DeWine-Husted Administration will need to keep extended Medicaid coverage for adults. We will also reform the program.”

Mike DeWine’s stance on healthcare has changed in recent years. While he has historically publicly opposed the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid, he has changed his stance as the election approaches. Now, DeWine advocates for expanding and reforming Medicaid to make it more sustainable, with an emphasis on work requirements and keeping individuals independent and accountable.

See more on the candidates in this race from our friends at guides.vote.

Maine

Janet Mills (D, Incumbent)

“Having health insurance saves lives. That’s why since my first day in office, I have fought to make health care more accessible and more affordable for all Maine people.”

Janet Mills supports expanding and improving healthcare and has done so throughout her time in office thus far. She expedited the expansion of Medicaid to expand MaineCare. She also signed a comprehensive prescription drug reform package to make medication more affordable and accessible and increase the accountability of drug companies. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she also advocated for a Patient Bill of Rights to require state health insurance companies to cover screening, testing, and vaccinations for Covid-19.

Paul LePage (R)

“You know how I feel about expanding Medicaid—it's bad for everybody.”

Paul LePage does not support expanding health care. He has long tried to block the expansion of Medicaid and has voted against legislation aimed at expanding MaineCare under ACA funding. He also supports substantial work requirements. 

See more on the candidates in this race from our friends at guides.vote.

House Elections

Virginia

District 7

Abigail Spanberger (D)

“I believe no one should have to choose between putting food on the table and getting the care, medication, or treatments they need because of rising prescription drug costs. No one should lose or be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition like diabetes or cancer, and no one fighting a serious illness should face the fear of lifetime coverage caps.”

Abigail Spanberger believes in expanding access to healthcare at affordable prices. She advocates for stabilizing the Affordable Care Act and maintaining protections for pre-existing conditions. She supports lowering insurance premiums, out-of-pocket costs, and prescription drug costs. She believes in providing universal coverage through a public option. Additionally, she is passionate about addressing the opioid and addiction epidemic within the country and protecting female access to healthcare.

Yesli Vega (R)

“To drive down the costs of healthcare we must allow families and individuals to have more healthcare options. Allowing individuals and families to purchase plans outside of their network and across state lines will allow Virginians to pick the plan best for them and at the lowest price.”

Yesli Vega believes the healthcare system is in need of reform and that the Affordable Care Act has failed. Instead, she supports giving individuals more choice in their healthcare as she feels choice and competition will increase quality, lower costs, and expand services She advocates for greater consumer transparency in treatment costs. Finally, she supports the elimination of IRS penalties and believes health savings accounts should be tax free.

Florida

District 13

Eric Lynn (D)

“A person’s health is sacred, and no one should go bankrupt just to get high-quality healthcare. We must work to ensure that everyone has access to healthcare coverage, and in Congress, I will do just that.

Eric Lynn supports expanding healthcare coverage for all and lowering costs. He believes that healthcare should be made more accessible and affordable and vows to work towards these changes should he be elected.

Anna Paulina Luna (R)

“Anna will focus on driving down the cost of health care, including prescription drugs, to bring the cost of Medicare under control.”

Anna Paulina Luna’s campaign website outlines her viewpoint and goals on the issue of healthcare. She supports lowering the cost of prescription drugs and making healthcare more affordable. She also believes in strengthening Medicare to ensure long term viability for seniors. She is passionate about medical freedom and believes people should be able to make their own decisions regarding their health. She does not feel individuals should be forced to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Nebraska

District 2

Tony Vargas (D)

“Health care and prescription drugs are still too expensive. We need to ensure that no matter where you live, you have access to quality, affordable care.”

Tony Vargas believes everyone deserves access to affordable and high quality healthcare. He also supports measures to lower the price of prescription medications and believes Medicare should be able to negotiate drug prices. He advocates for a public healthcare option that would allow Nebraskans to buy into an affordable plan comparable to Medicare at any age. He believes this competition will drive prices down while allowing those who prefer private insurance to keep their existing plans.

Don Bacon (R, Incumbent)

“I am committed to ensuring that Americans have access to quality affordable healthcare. Today, 71 percent of Americans like their healthcare plans, and we should focus on improving it for the 29 percent who don’t and for those without access to healthcare.”

Don Bacon supports expanding healthcare access through bipartisan legislation that lowers costs, promotes preventative care and healthy choices, and gives individuals the right to choose their healthcare plan. In regards to the Affordable Care Act, he supports keeping protections for pre-existing conditions and the ability to remain on parental plans until age 26, however he believes the ACA needs to be reformed in other areas to move away from the “one size fits all” current approach.


Rose Mercer is a Content and Research Intern at AllSides. She has a Lean Left bias.

This blog was reviewed and edited by Henry A. Brechter, Managing Editor (Center bias).

Image Credit: Nenad Stojkovic/Flickr