November 03, 2016
It’s hard to believe this presidential election season is winding to a close. Tomorrow is the last day of early voting, with Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 8. We are privileged to live in a democracy with the right, privilege, and obligation to express our opinions and vote.
Below I’ve reprinted the healthcare platforms of both candidates, taken from their websites:
Hillary Clinton (Democratic nominee) https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/health-care/
- Defend and expand the Affordable Care Act, which covers 20 million people. Hillary will stand up to Republican-led attacks on this landmark law—and build on its success to bring the promise of affordable health care to more people and make a “public option” possible. She will also support letting people over 55 years old buy into Medicare.
- Bring down out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles. American families are being squeezed by rising out-of-pocket health care costs. Hillary believes that workers should share in slower growth of national health care spending through lower costs.
- Reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Prescription drug spending accelerated from 2.5 percent in 2013 to 12.6 percent in 2014. It’s no wonder that almost three-quarters of Americans believe prescription drug costs are unreasonable. Hillary believes we need to demand lower drug costs for hardworking families and seniors.
- Protect consumers from unjustified prescription drug price increases from companies that market long-standing, life-saving treatments and face little or no competition. Hillary’s plan includes new enforcement tools that make drug alternatives available and increase competition, broaden emergency access to high-quality treatments from developed countries with strong safety standards, and hold drug companies accountable for unjustified price increases with new penalties.
- Fight for health insurance for the lowest-income Americans in every state by incentivizing states to expand Medicaid—and make enrollment through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act easier.
- Expand access to affordable health care to families regardless of immigration status. Hillary will expand access to affordable health care to families regardless of immigration status by allowing families to buy health insurance on the health exchanges regardless of their immigration status.
- Expand access to rural Americans, who often have difficulty finding quality, affordable health care. Hillary will explore cost-effective ways to make more health care providers eligible for telehealth reimbursement under Medicare and other programs, including federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics.
- Defend access to reproductive health care. Hillary will work to ensure that all women have access to preventive care, affordable contraception, and safe and legal abortion.
- Double funding for community health centers, and support the healthcare workforce: As part of her comprehensive health care agenda, Hillary is committed to doubling the funding for primary-care services at community health centers over the next decade. Hillary also supports President Obama’s call for a near tripling of the size of the National Health Service Corps.
Donald Trump (Republican nominee) https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/healthcare-reform
- Completely repeal Obamacare. Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.
- Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. As long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state. By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.
- Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system. Businesses are allowed to take these deductions so why wouldn’t Congress allow individuals the same exemptions? As we allow the free market to provide insurance coverage opportunities to companies and individuals, we must also make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance. We must review basic options for Medicaid and work with states to ensure that those who want healthcare coverage can have it.
- Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate. These accounts would become part of the estate of the individual and could be passed on to heirs without fear of any death penalty. These plans should be particularly attractive to young people who are healthy and can afford high-deductible insurance plans. These funds can be used by any member of a family without penalty. The flexibility and security provided by HSAs will be of great benefit to all who participate.
- Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals. Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.
- Block-grant Medicaid to the states. Nearly every state already offers benefits beyond what is required in the current Medicaid structure. The state governments know their people best and can manage the administration of Medicaid far better without federal overhead. States will have the incentives to seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse to preserve our precious resources.
- Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America. Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.
This is an historic election. Please exercise your right to vote.