Back in June, we examined the healthcare proposals from the presumptive nominees of the Democrat and Republican Party. Now that the nominating conventions have ended, and the presidential campaign is entering its final 60 days, let’s revisit the proposals of each of the major party candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and also include a brief look at the two minor party candidates, Dr. Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. Note: The candidates are not being listed in any order of preference, and the included information has been taken from the official campaign websites.
Democrat Hillary Clinton – As described in our previous article, Ms. Clinton is pledging to expand the Affordable Care Act with a commitment to providing universal healthcare to everyone in America. She has also proposed allowing all families to buy health insurance on the ACA Exchanges, regardless of immigration status. In July, Clinton added a proposal to her platform that would allow Americans to enroll in Medicare upon reaching the age of 55. In August, she announced a plan to address the 40 million people who are suffering from mental illness by promoting early diagnosis and intervention, launch a national initiative for suicide prevention, and to integrate the nation’s mental and physical healthcare systems.
Republican Donald Trump – The Republican Candidate has not made any significant additions to his healthcare platform since we last examined it. Mr. Trump is on record as stating that one of his first acts if elected president, would be to enlist the Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a series of initiatives based on “free market” principles. Some of the platform planks include allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines to create a competitive environment. Trump is also proposing that health insurance premiums be fully tax deductible and expanding the availability of Health Savings Accounts. Concerning Medicaid, the Trump proposal is to “block-grant” Medicaid to the states with additional incentives for reducing waste, fraud, and abuse.
Green Party Dr. Jill Stein – The Green Party candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, is a Physician by trade. Her position on healthcare is the creation of a single-payer public health insurance program, in effect a “Medicare for All” program. Her public statements on the subject are that healthcare is a human right upon birth. Her platform states that all co-pays, premiums, and deductibles would be eliminated, while coverage would include everyone, regardless of immigration status. Dr. Stein also proposes investment in organic food systems, expanding access to “morning after” contraception, and bulk purchasing of pharmaceuticals.
Libertarian Gary Johnson – Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, is a former Governor of New Mexico. His healthcare platform includes his opposition to any government mandated health insurance, namely the Affordable Care Act. He is proposing to enlist the Congress to repeal the ACA, and replace it with a market-based, healthcare insurance system that is privately owned and managed. His proposal also includes cutting Medicare and Medicaid by up to 43% and providing “block grants” to the states for entitlement programs. Another cost savings initiative from Mr. Johnson is to pursue tort reform to control the costs of frivolous lawsuits.
This upcoming presidential election will ultimately be the most important one of our lifetimes. There are major issues that our country is facing, both foreign and domestic, and the future state of healthcare is just one of them. There are links to each of the candidates’ websites in the article above, and we encourage you to explore further their positions on healthcare and many other issues that will have an impact on your future.