The 2020 Presidential election is underway. Even though the polls don’t open until November 3, many are already voting by mail or absentee. The candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden debated several important issues in their September 29 meeting, including the country’s COVID-19 management. Two more debates are scheduled in October but the status is unclear now that Mr. Trump has been hospitalized with COVID-19. The Vice Presidential candidates’ debate is still scheduled as of October 5.
Health care was a major issue in the 2008 election and proved to be momentous. In his campaign, the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, promised health care reform and as President he delivered with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the first time Americans have had universal health care. This election’s candidates also make promises about health care.
In a post from 2016 I compared the then candidates’ health care proposals. I thought it would be interesting to look back at what Mr. Trump said then, along side what his opponent Mrs. Clinton said. As you well know, Mr. Trump defeated Mrs. Clinton , although she won the popular vote.
This summary of what each candidate proposed came from their official websites. I didn’t add my opinion or commentary, nor endorsement of either one.
I also looked at the healthcare views of two third party candidates, one of whom is a physician; comparing all proposals, you will see that Americans hold widely differing opinions about health and health care.
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Republican- Donald J. Trump, Chairman and President,
The Trump Organization
“Healthcare Reform to Make America Great Again”
Mr. Trump believes the Affordable Care Act, which he refers to as Obamacare, is an “economic burden” to the country. He says it has caused
- Runaway costs,
- Websites that don’t work,
- Greater rationing of care
- Higher premiums
- Less competition
- Fewer choices
He recommends a
“series of reforms that follow free market principles and restore economic freedom and certainty” , which will
“broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans.”
As President, Mr. Trump will request Congress to
- Completely repeat Obamacare, eliminate the individual mandate to buy health insurance.
- Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines.
- Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns.
- Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which should be tax free, allowed to accumulate, and become part of one’s estate at death.
- Require price transparency from all healthcare providers.
- Block-grant Medicaid to the states.
- Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers, allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas.
Also under his health care plan, Mr. Trump includes
- Enforcing immigration laws
- Eliminating fraud and waste
- Energizing our economy
- Reform our mental health programs and institutions
Democrat-Hillary Rodham Clinton, lawyer;
former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State
- Maintain and expand the Affordable Care Act
- Bring down out-of-pocket costs for copays, deductibles and prescription drugs
- Expand access to care for low income groups, immigrants and rural populations.
- Defend access to reproductive health care.
As President, Mrs. Clinton will work with Congress to
Fight addiction and substance abuse with prevention, treatment and recovery programs and reforming the criminal justice system handling of offenders.
Set a goal to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s Disease by 2025. Help those affected and their families get the care they need.
Create an AIDS/HIV policy to increase research, expand treatment options, increase health care financial options for those affected, and eliminate discriminatory laws.
Develop an “autism initiative” to expand insurance coverage, increase funding for research, early identification and intervention, employment opportunities, and school safety.
Commit to fully implement the Americans with Disabilities Act, and increase support for persons with disabilities and their families.
Under the heading of health Mrs. Clinton includes her positions and proposals for
- Climate change
- Women’s rights and opportunity
- Support for veterans, the military and their families
- Paid family and medical leave
Green Party – Jill Stein, M.D., physician, activist
Dr. Stein favors
“Medicare for all”, single payer health care system for everyone, with no premiums, co-pays or deductibles.
Eliminate private health insurance.
Decrease prescription drug costs
Full access to contraceptive and reproductive care, including morning after contraception
Invest in community health infrastructure- organic food, renewable energy
Prioritize prevention by encouraging physical activity, improving nutrition and minimizing environmental pollution
Libertarian- Gary Johnson, businessman, former Governor of New Mexico
Mr. Johnson’s website had little information about his health care proposals, so I am also including items from the Libertarian party’s website.
The party supports
a free-market healthcare system where the individual is free to choose everything related to health care- insurance, doctors, treatments, medication, end-of-life care
the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines
abortion as a private decision up to the individual’s conscience and not regulated by the government
opposes mandatory vaccination
supports the legalization and regulation of marijuana.
exploring the HEART of healthcare
I snapped the photos of the “Oval Office” during a tour of the Reagan Presidential Library a few years go. I have also visited the Nixon and Kennedy Libraries. These surprised and intrigued me-visually compelling ways to review their terms of office from a historical perspective. I wonder what the future Trump library will unfold?
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If you are concerned about the risk of contracting coronavirus at a polling site, explore other options in your community. With proper precautions in person voting can be safe. these include.
- mask wearing
- social distance at least 6 feet
- outdoor locations when possible
- staying home if exposed or sick