Obamacare Implementation and the 2016 Election

73 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2017 Last revised: 20 May 2018

Vladimir Kogan

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Political Science

Thomas Wood

Ohio State University (OSU)

Date Written: May 19, 2018

Abstract

We combine administrative records from the federal health insurance exchange with aggregate- and individual-level voting data to examine how health care reform affected the 2016 election. Overall, we show that personal experiences with the Affordable Care Act influenced voting decisions and conceivably altered the presidential election outcome in pivotal states, suggesting that Republican efforts to undermine the law's implementation paid tangible political dividends. We also find that voters purchasing coverage through the exchange responded to premium price hikes publicized shortly before the election -- despite most receiving a tax credit that largely shielded them from the increases. We hypothesize that the exchange website's design and information in renewal letters sent by insurers, both of which reduced the salience of federal subsidies, made consumers needlessly sensitive to the "sticker prices'" of health insurance. Survey responses collected before the premiums became public provide additional evidence that these effects are indeed causal.

Keywords: 2016 Presidential Election, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Policy Feedback, Retrospective Voting, Health Policy

JEL Classification: I13, I18, H50, H51, H70, H77

Suggested Citation

Kogan, Vladimir and Wood, Thomas, Obamacare Implementation and the 2016 Election (May 19, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3075406 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3075406

Vladimir Kogan (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Thomas Wood

Ohio State University (OSU) ( email )

Blankenship Hall-2010
901 Woody Hayes Drive
Columbus, OH OH 43210
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
483
rank
51,606
Abstract Views
8,881
PlumX