How the Democratic and Republican party platforms differ

The platforms read and sound different in tone and emphasis. I think the Democratic platform can be likened to a “campaign speech” while the Republican document sounds more like a “state of the union” message.

We’ve been looking at how the Democratic and Republican parties differ in views on healthcare by reviewing specific points in the party platforms. In this post I’m going to step away from looking at specifics and share my general observations about the platforms themselves.

I’m mostly highlighting differences, because the platforms are as different as the parties are-one conservative, one liberal. They both of course claim to love America and democracy and want to defend and preserve and improve our way of life. But the way they want to do so is as different as RED is from BLUE.

I intend for these posts to be non-partisan but because I’m sharing my own observations this one may look more like an opinion. I’m using these posts for my own education as well as yours, so we can be better informed and inspired voters.

I have been a registered voter since I was 18, being one of the first to benefit from the 26th Amendment that changed the voting age from 21 years to 18 years.

I have been registered with both major parties and have voted for candidates in both parties, so I have no allegiance to either one. If these observations seem biased, it is strictly unintentional. So let’s take a look.

Note: I chose the photos for illustration, they are not affiliated with either party.

When were the platforms written?

Usually platforms are written or revised on the years the parties meet for the convention that nominates the presidential candidate.


The Republicans last did that in 2016 when Donald Trump was nominated and won the election. In 2020 when he ran for reelection during the COVID pandemic, they deferred writing a new platform citing

“strict restrictions on gatherings and meetings, and out of concern for the safety of convention attendees and our hosts;” and “in appreciation of the fact that it did not want a small contingent of delegates formulating a new platform without the breadth of perspectives within the ever-growing Republican movement.”

It went on to state

“The RNC enthusiastically supports President Trump and the Republican Party and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda.”

RESOLVED, That the 2020 Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention.”

The RNC also passed a resolution in 2022 “reaffirming” its commitment to the platform”.


In 2020 the Democrats held a convention, conducted mostly virtually, and wrote a new party platform.Their candidate Joe Biden won the presidential election. According to their website,

“Every four years, Democrats from across the country join together to craft our party’s platform.The platform is created to uplift working people and write out the values that will guide our party for years to come.”

The platform was considered by the 2020 Platform Committee at its meeting on July 27, 2020, and was approved by the Democratic National Convention on August 18, 2020.

How long is the platform?

The Democrats take first place for length. As a PDF document, 86 pages are devoted to text. There are 11 sections, most of which are also divided into different categories.

The Republican document is brief in comparison, 58 pages, divided into 6 sections.

Key differences in content of the platform

The platforms read and sound different in tone and emphasis. I think the Democratic platform can be likened to a “campaign speech” while the Republican document sounds more like a “state of the union” message.

Democrats – the party of change

  • “Campaign speech”
  • Action oriented
  • Problem specific
  • Future directed
  • Diversity, inclusivity
Photo by Markus Spiske on

Republicans- the party of stability

  • “State of the union”
  • Policy oriented
  • Maintain the status quo
  • General concepts
  • Build on the past
  • Conformity, consistency

Photo by Tara Winstead on

What do the platforms say about the other party?

Both of the platforms comment on the other party unfavorably multiple times.

Written in 2016 during the presidency of Democrat Barack Obama, the Republican platform was repeatedly critical of the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, otherwise known as ObamaCare, as well as other aspects of President Obama’s administration.

The President (Obama) and the Democratic Party have dismantled Americans’ system of healthcare. They have replaced it with a costly and complicated scheme that limits choices and takes away our freedoms.

The President and the Democratic party have abandoned their promise of being accountable to the American people.

Written in 2020, the Democratic platform opened with scathing criticism of President Trump’s management of the pandemic, and continued throughout the document on other issues.

The bill has come due on the Trump Administration’s hollowing out of our public institutions: the sidelining of experts, the rejection of science, the underinvestment in research, and the gross corruption and abuses of power.

President Trump’s dereliction of duty has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans, the loss of tens of millions of American jobs, and lasting harm to our children’s education and future.

Most of the criticisms are then followed by how or what their party and candidate will do differently.

What do the platforms say about social issues?

You don’t have to read the platforms to know that Democrats and Republicans differ drastically on social issues such as marriage, reproduction, abortion, schools, immigration, religion, and sexuality. The aftermath of the recent (2022) Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe vs. Wade shows that pointedly. These differences are spelled out in the platforms but each party approaches them from different angles, not categorizing them the same way.

I will devote additional posts to these topics. On some of them one platform says more than the other so the content will not exactly parallel. I’ll do my best to lay out both sides, but encourage you to do your homework and review the entire platforms.

exploring the HEART of health

Please do follow the above links to the party platforms, bookmark them, and refer to them as the season of primaries closes and we approach national election day, Tuesday November 8. We won’t elect a new president but the choice of a new legislative branch of government is just as important.

See you at the polls.

Dr Aletha

Photo by cottonbro on

The Democratic Party- “Universal Health Care”

Democrats will keep up the fight until all Americans can access secure, affordable, high-quality health insurance—because as Democrats, we fundamentally believe health care is a right for all, not a privilege for the few.

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I ‘ve started a series of blog posts that review each major party’s platform on healthcare and related issues. I take this information directly from the website of each party’s platform and include the link so you can read the complete document.

We’ve already looked at the parties’ views on gun violence and control. This post will look at health insurance.

Every office holder or candidate may or may not fully subscribe to their party’s platform. Whether you are registered as a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or some other party, ultimately you will vote for a person. Do your research and learn what that person stands for.

Follow this blog so you’ll know when each post in the series is online.

Note: the photos are for illustration, are not affiliated with the party platform, and are not intended to influence your opinion.

The Democratic Party Platform

This party platform was considered by the 2020 Platform committee at its meeting July 27, 2020 and was approved by the Democratic National Convention August 18, 2020.


Democrats have fought to achieve universal health care for a century. We are proud to be the party of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.

Because of the Obama-Biden Administration and the Affordable Care Act, more than 100 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, from heart disease to asthma, are secure in the knowledge that insurance companies can no longer discriminate against them. Women can no longer be charged more than men just because of their gender. And more Americans are able to get health coverage than ever before.

  as Democrats, we fundamentally believe health care is a right for all, not a privilege for the few.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on

Securing Universal Health Care Through a Public Option

Democrats believe we need to protect, strengthen, and build upon our bedrock health care programs, including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Private insurers need real competition to ensure they have incentive to provide affordable, quality coverage to every American.

Choosing a public option through the ACA marketplace

To achieve that objective, we will give all Americans the choice to select a high-quality, affordable public option through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

The public option will provide at least one plan choice without deductibles; will be administered by CMS, not private companies; and will cover all primary care without any co-payments and control costs for other treatments by negotiating prices with doctors and hospitals, just like Medicare does on behalf of older people.

Everyone will be eligible to choose the public option or another Affordable Care Act marketplace plan. To help close the persistent racial gap in insurance rates, Democrats will expand funding for Affordable Care Act outreach and enrollment programs, so every American knows their options for securing quality, affordable coverage.

Expand Medicare eligibility

And we will enable millions of older workers to choose between their employer-provided plans, the public option, or enrolling in Medicare when they turn 60, instead of having to wait until they are 65. Democrats are categorically opposed to raising the Medicare retirement age.

Americans should be able to access public coverage through a public option and those over 55 should be able to opt in to Medicare.

a senior adult couple relaxing in lawn chairs

Democrats will

empower the states to use innovation waivers under the ACA to develop unique locally tailored approaches to health coverage

work to end other practices that lead to out-of-control medical debt , repeal the excise tax on high-cost health insurance, reducing out-of-pocket expenses, and capping prescription drug costs

fight against insurers trying to impose excessive premium increases

fight any attempts by Republicans to privatize, voucherize, or phase out Medicare as we know it

oppose Republican plans to slash funding and block grant Medicaid and SNAP

keep fighting until the ACA’s Medicaid expansion has been adopted in every state

a nurse discussing blood pressure with a patient.
This photograph was taken during a blood pressure (BP) screening exercise that was being conducted by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) nurses in order to help employees monitor their blood pressure. photo compliments of Yvonne Green, RN, CNM, MSN, from the Centers for Disease Control collection

Supporting Community Health Centers

We also know that finally covering every American through the public and private insurance system alone is not enough to guarantee universal access.

Investing in Community and Rural health clinics

That is why Democrats support doubling investments in community health centers and rural health clinics in underserved urban and rural areas,

including increased support for dental care, mental health care, and substance use services like medication-assisted treatment, support for mobile health clinics.

a female physician talking to a male patient

Grow the healthcare work force

We will expand the National Health Service Corps and Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program to grow a diverse primary care workforce and to address critical shortages of health care providers in medically underserved rural and urban areas, including primary care nurses, dental professionals, and mental health and substance use counselors.

exploring the HEART of healthcare change

I appreciate your interest in the politics of healthcare, an issue that is vital to all of us every day. These proposals will become more focussed and debated as election day approaches; the national election is Tuesday November 1, 2022. Please exercise your right to vote, I intend to.

Medical stethoscope and heart on a textured background

Dr Aletha

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