SUBURBAN WOMEN IN IA AND NH WEIGH IN ON OBAMACARE, DISCUSS RELIGIOUS MANDATEMarch 22, 2012
In March of 2012, Resurgent Republic sponsored four focus groups in Des Moines, Iowa and Manchester, New Hampshire among Suburban Women who self-identified as Independents, voted for Obama in 2008 and are undecided today. Following are key highlights pertaining to Obamacare, religious mandate and contraception.
Nearly all of the Suburban Women voters were familiar with the religious mandate debate, although they largely perceived the issue in terms of women’s health. When this topic was raised, their immediate response was to defend contraception coverage and women’s rights. It is also worth noting that some thought the Administration’s self-labeled compromise assuaged the Catholic Church’s objections.
More concerns were voiced when the policy was discussed in light of the religious mandate. Particularly in the more Catholic New Hampshire groups, the respondents were split on the issue when discussed in terms of freedom of religion and whether or not the federal government should compel a religious organization to do something contrary to their beliefs.
Overall, Obamacare was not on the top of their minds. The debate that dominated the first two years of Obama’s presidency has largely faded to the backburner among these voters. They largely struggled to describe what the law does, outside of offering coverage for pre-existing conditions and for those under the age of 26. There was also sentiment that Obama should get credit for trying to get something done on health care, but belief that the new law will increase health care costs and place a new burden on individuals, small businesses and job creation.
One Wal-Mart Woman in Des Moines said, “But what about, if you’re a company that is already struggling, and you have to offer this insurance, what’s that going to do to [them]. And if you’re already struggling financially to take care of your family, what is that going to do when you get fined or have to pay for this insurance that your company can’t afford and you can’t afford?”