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2020 Daily Trail Markers: Over four in 10 Americans say affording basic medical care is a hardship

Candidates attack Warren on health care
Candidates attack Warren on health care 09:49

Most Americans think the nation's health care system needs fundamental changes or to be completely rebuilt, and costs are what concern them most. In a new CBS News pollJennifer De Pinto and Fred Backus of the Election & Survey Unit say more than four in 10 are dissatisfied with their health care costs and say affording basic medical care is a hardship. Many have had problems paying medical bills and more than a third say they have gone without medical treatment because of the costs. Overall views of the U.S. health care system have been largely consistent for many years: most want fundamental changes or a completely rebuilt system.

Two-thirds of Americans are very concerned with keeping costs down, more than ensuring everyone has health care coverage (56%). They are comparatively less concerned about improving the quality of the care they receive. This may be because Americans are largely satisfied with the quality of their own health care. Seventy-nine percent say they are satisfied, including 42% who say they are very satisfied. Americans have shown a high level of satisfaction with the quality of their health care for a number of years. But Americans have greater reservations about their health care costs. Just over half of Americans say they are satisfied. 

And many – more than four in ten – find affording basic medical care a hardship. Lower-income Americans are particularly likely to feel this way:  More than half of those earning less than $50,000 a year describe the affordability of basic medical care for their family as a hardship. When asked about some specific ways the cost of their medical care may have affected them, 43% of Americans say they or someone in their household has had problems paying medical bills in the last few years, and 38% have gone without medical treatment they thought was needed. Another 31% have not filled a prescription or have cut pills in half because of costs. 



Pete Buttigieg is cutting ties and returning contributions from Steve Patton, the former Chicago city attorney who tried to block the release of video showing the police shooting of a black teenager named Laquan McDonald. Patton was slated to be a co-host of a Buttigieg fundraiser taking place Friday in Chicago, and Buttigieg said Friday that he only found out about Patton's involvement in the event Friday morning. 

"I learned about it this morning and within about an hour of that, he's no long involved in the event or the campaign," Buttigieg told David Axelrod, former President Obama's chief campaign strategist and the head of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics Friday. Buttigieg said, "Transparency and justice for Laquan McDonald is a lot more important than a campaign contribution."

Buttigieg press secretary Chris Meager said in the statement, adding, "We are returning the money he contributed to the campaign and the money he has collected." Federal Election Commission reports show that Patton donated $5,600 to Buttigieg's campaign. 

Read more here. 


Kamala Harris's campaign announced her endorsement Friday morning by Cedar County Democrats Chair Larry Hodgden. A retired farmer and former school board member, CBS News campaign reporter Musadiq Bidar says Hodgden has lived in rural communities for over 70 years. In a statement provided by the campaign, Hodgden said he is endorsing Harris because of her plans for rural America. 

The California senator visited Tipton on Thursday, where she discussed her recently unveiled rural plan. It was her first trip to the Tipton, a town of about 3,000 people in Cedar County. Hodgden said everything Harris discussed in her rural plan addresses issues that will make rural America strong. Harris has spent eight days in Iowa during the month of October, holding 13 different campaign events. 


Senator Amy Klobuchar begins a three-day bus tour across Iowa today, according to CBS News campaign reporter Musadiq Bidar. On Friday morning, Klobuchar's campaign announced endorsements by Iowa State Senator Liz Mathis and Iowa State Representative Andy McKean. McKean, the longest-serving Republican in the history of the Iowa State Legislature, switched parties in April citing actions of President Trump. McKean said in a statement provided by the campaign that Klobuchar "has the smarts, vision, and grit we need to defeat Donald Trump and reunite the country." According to a CBS News analysis, this is Klobuchar's 19th trip to Iowa and by the end of the bus tour, she will have held more than 100 events across the Hawkeye State. 



CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga has learned former Ohio Governor John Kasich will appear in New Hampshire on November 7, 2019 at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire, to deliver an afternoon speech at the Memorial Union Building. 

The speech comes in the midst of New Hampshire's in-person filing period for the presidential primary, set by Secretary of State Bill Gardner to begin on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 and continue until Friday, November 15, 2019. During this window, presidential candidates are required to submit declarations of candidacy in person, in a ceremonial photo-op taking place in Concord's State Capitol. 

A source familiar with the governor's thinking says no political announcement is planned at this time. Still, the source said this of the possibility of a presidential primary challenge: "The door has been closed, but the deadbolt hasn't been set yet." Kasich's remarks will center largely on civic discourse and civility in politics, and will be a reflection on today's state of affairs. 

Kasich released a new book this week entitled, "It's Up to Us: Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change," an outside-the-Washington-bubble approach to activism, encouraging civic engagement in local communities. The former Ohio governor called for President Trump's impeachment in an interview with CNN today. 

"This has been a very difficult 24 hours for me," Kasich said. Hearing Mick Mulvaney's acknowledgement Thursday that aid for Ukraine was tied to Trump's demands for a Ukranian probe into the 2016 election "pushed him over the Rubicon," Kasich added. "Look, I fought with people on air over, 'Is there a quid pro quo' and 'Does this rise to the level of impeachment.' I now believe that it does," Kasich told CNN. "And I say it with great sadness. This is not something I really wanted to do."


Presidential hopefuls Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Tom Steyer will join an estimated 1,500 voters for the 20th annual Betty Henderson Elected Officials and Candidates Cook-Off in Orangeburg, South Carolina on Friday. The cook-off, which has become a flagship event for the Orangeburg County Democratic Party, was started by OCDP Chair Emeritus Betty Henderson decades ago to raise money for the party. OCDP chair Kenneth Glover says the event has since grown into an annual gathering of hundreds of South Carolinians for "fun, food, and fellowship." Booker was the keynote speaker for the event last year. 

Orangeburg County—home to 86,000 residents—is a traditionally Democratic pocket of South Carolina, says CBS News campaign reporter LaCrai Mitchell. In the 2008 and 2016 South Carolina Democratic primaries, the eventual Democratic nominee—Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, respectively—won Orangeburg County with more than 60% of the vote. OCDP chair Glover says the importance of the cook-off for Democratic presidential candidates is simple: "The road to the presidency runs through South Carolina, and Orangeburg County chooses the Democratic candidate."



At his Dallas rally last night, his second in Texas this year, President Trump proclaimed that "Texas is not in play...Democrats will never get the chance [to be president] because Texas won't let them." CBS News Political Unit associate producer Eleanor Watson and broadcast associate Aaron Navarro talked to seven women from both parties in the Texas suburbs about 2020. To them, both parties definitely have to compete for the state. Republican Terri Green, Chair of the Republican Women of Greater North Texas, said that the 2018 cycle was a wake-up call for Republicans in North Texas.  "We just assumed everybody running for office is going to be a Republican, and all of a sudden everybody gets a Democratic opponent," Green said. 

Democrats in the state are doing everything they can to prove Mr. Trump wrong, hoping to build off the 2018 momentum they saw with Beto O'Rourke's Senate run and the two metro-suburban House seats they flipped. And based off third-quarter fundraising for their U.S. House race challengers, they're seeing that competitive momentum continue. In Texas' 21st Congressional District, former state gubernatorial candidate and Democratic challenger Wendy Davis saw $939,284 in the third quarter, compared to incumbent-Representative Chip Roy's $574,216. In the northwest Dallas suburb district of the 24th District, the top two Democrats (Kim Olson and Candace Valenzuela) raised $383,824, compared to the Republicans' $379,398. 

Collin County Democrats Chair Mike Rawlins said another reason Texas has gotten more interest this election cycle is the money stretches a bit longer compared to other swing states. "In Ohio and Florida, the election is all about persuasion. It takes a lot more money and effort to try and swing that narrow 5 percent that's persuadable. In Texas, it's all about turnout. It doesn't take nearly as much money or effort to get Democratic-leaning people who don't normally vote at the polls as to those few Republicans who might actually flip," he said.

The National Republican Campaign Committee scoffed at the idea that those suburban seats are competitive for Democrats.

"Republicans are on offense in the Texas suburbs," said NRCC Spokesman Bob Salera. "The suburban seats Democrats claim to be targeting are solid Trump districts, and the DCCC is delusional if they think they can turn them blue by running socialist candidates with the president at the top of the ticket." 


Here is a roundup of the Political Unit's reporting for CBSN and this week:



·         Monday Daily Trail Markers // By Bo Erickson

·         Thursday Daily Trail Markers // By Nicole Sganga


·         Monday Red & Blue Segment // By Adam Brewster, LaCrai Mitchell & Nicole Sganga

·         Tuesday Red & Blue Debate Segment // By LaCrai Mitchell


·         Tuesday CBSN PM Segment – A look at Warren, Biden & Sanders pre-debate // By Bo Erickson, Zak Hudak & Cara Korte

·         Tuesday CBSN Post Debate Segment – Iowa & NH Watch Parties // By Adam Brewster & Nicole Sganga


·         19 GOP senators are up for re-election in 2020. Here's where they stand on the impeachment inquiry // By Ellee Watson

·         Buttigieg, Klobuchar each raise more than $1 million in 24 hours after debate // By Sarah Ewall-Wice

·         Democratic donors are breaking small-dollar records // By Sarah Ewall-Wice

·         Democrats debate which proposal is best to tackle rural hospital crisis // By LaCrai Mitchell & Alexander Tin

·         Michael Bennet slams "idiotic" DNC rules that kept him out of the debate // By Nicole Sganga

·         "Now politics is everywhere": Both parties zero in on Texas // By Aaron Navarro and Ellee Watson

·         Pete Buttigieg cuts ties with donor who tried to block release of Laquan McDonald shooting video // With Reporting from Jack Turman

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