Health Care

Healthcare has been a controversial topic over the past eight years. There has been the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the fallout with landmark Supreme Court cases. There has been much conservation over the government’s place in healthcare and the talk of creating a government run, single payer system.

Many U.S. citizens have seen healthcare premiums rise over the years, the expansion of medicare and medicare. Generally, Democrats have been supportive of greater intervention in the healthcare field, some even supporting a single payer system. There was significant Democratic support for the Affordable Care Act which setup a government run exchange with subsidies for those making under $34,000 as an individual. Many critics of this plan believe that this will lead to higher premiums and greater dependence on the government for access to healthcare.

Republicans have typically been against greater government intervention in the business of healthcare, supporting deregulation and tort reform. There have been Republican proposals to undo healthcare mandates, creating a more market-oriented approach to Medicare and Medicaid to decrease costs. Many critics of Republican proposals have been focused on deregulation. Many opponents believe that deregulation will lead to greater monopolies and less patient-centered care. There has also been criticism that the poor and elderly wouldn’t be taken care of through market approaches.

Healthcare Regulations/Intervention

Point

Proponents have been supportive of greater intervention in the healthcare field, some even supporting a single payer system. Proponents have supported the Affordable Care Act which setup a government run exchange with subsidies for those making under $34,000 as an individual. They believe that market run healthcare will leave out the most vulnerable from getting the best care possible. They believe that imposing regulations on healthcare companies will help serve the poor and sickly better.

Counter

Opponents believe that healthcare regulations/interventions negatively effect the poor and sickly. They point to failures within medicaid to effectively treat the poor since they have so few options for doctors. They believe that market based care is the best option, that it will drive down costs and provide more affordable options to the poor and sickly.

What Students Think

Many students have been able to stay on their parents' insurance and may not feel the cost burden, but some may have experienced the way our healthcare system works, whether it be a family member's sickness or their own. What do you think on this issue?

Do you support a universal single-payer healthcare system?

50%

No

50%

Yes

Candidate Positions

Donald Trump

Republican Candidate for President

Congress must act. Our elected representatives in the House and Senate must:

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.

Gary Johnson

Libertarian Candidate for President

Obamacare will wreck the economy; Medicare should be cut.

Information taken from a USA Today article. 

Hillary Clinton

Democratic Candidate for President

Hillary has never given up on the fight for universal coverage—and she won’t stop now. Building on the Affordable Care Act to expand coverage for millions of Americans, Hillary will:
-Make premiums more affordable and lessen out-of-pocket expenses for consumers purchasing health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges. Hillary believes that in order to expand coverage for families, we need to reduce the cost of purchasing health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Her plan will provide enhanced relief for people on the exchanges, and provide a tax credit of up to $5,000 per family to offset a portion of excessive out-of-pocket and premium costs above 5% of their income. She will enhance the premium tax credits now available through the exchanges so that those now eligible will pay less of a percentage of their income than under current law and ensure that all families purchasing on the exchange will not spend more than 8.5 percent of their income for premiums. Finally, she will fix the “family glitch” so that families can access coverage when their employer’s family plan premium is too expensive.
-Support new incentives to encourage all states to expand Medicaid. Hillary will fight for health insurance for our lowest income residents living in every state across the nation. Hillary will follow President Obama’s proposal to allow any state that signs up for the Medicaid expansion to receive a 100 percent match for the first three years, and she will continue to look for other ways to incentivize states to expand Medicaid to meet the health needs of their most vulnerable residents.
-Invest in navigators, advertising and other outreach activities to make enrollment easier. Today, as many as 16 million people or half of all those uninsured are eligible but not enrolled in virtually free Medicaid coverage or exchange coverage for as little as $100 a month or less. Hillary will ensure anyone who wants to enroll can understand their options and do so easily, by dedicating more funding for outreach and enrollment efforts. She will invest $500 million per year in an aggressive enrollment campaign to ensure more people enroll in these extremely affordable options.
-Expand access to affordable health care to families regardless of immigration status. Hillary sponsored the Immigrant Children’s Health Improvement Act in the Senate, which later became law and allows immigrant children and pregnant women to obtain Medicaid and CHIP. She believes we should let families—regardless of immigration status—buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Families who want to purchase health insurance should be able to do so.
-Continue to support a “public option”—and work to build on the Affordable Care Act to make it possible. As she did in her 2008 campaign health plan, and consistently since then, Hillary supports a “public option” to reduce costs and broaden the choices of insurance coverage for every American. To make immediate progress toward that goal, Hillary will work with interested governors, using current flexibility under the Affordable Care Act, to empower states to establish a public option choice.
-Going forward, Hillary will build on these efforts and fight to ensure that the savings from these reforms benefits families—not just insurance companies, drug companies, and large corporations.
-Defend the Affordable Care Act. Hillary will continue to defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) against Republican efforts to repeal it. She’ll build on it to expand affordable coverage, slow the growth of overall health care costs (including prescription drugs), and make it possible for providers to deliver the very best care to patients.
-Lower out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles. The average deductible for employer-sponsored health plans rose from $1,240 in 2002 to about $2,500 in 2013. 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.
-Transform our health care system to reward value and quality. Hillary is committed to building on delivery system reforms in the Affordable Care Act that improve value and quality care for Americans.
-Hillary will also work to expand access to rural Americans, who often have difficulty finding quality, affordable health care. She will explore cost-effective ways to broaden the scope of health care providers eligible for telehealth reimbursement under Medicare and other programs, including federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics. She will also call for states to support efforts to streamline licensing for telemedicine and examine ways to expand the types of services that qualify for reimbursement.
-Hillary is continuing a lifelong fight to ensure women have access to reproductive health care. As senator, she championed access to emergency contraception and voted in favor of strengthening a woman’s right to make her own health decisions. As president, she will continue defending Planned Parenthood, which provides critical health services including breast exams and cancer screenings to 2.7 million women a year. And she will work to ensure that all women have access to preventive care, affordable contraception, and safe, legal abortion—not just in principle, but in practice, by ending restrictions like the Hyde Amendment.

Jill Stein

Green Party Candidate for President

Health Care

Health Care as a Right:

Establish an improved “Medicare For All” single-payer public health insurance program to provide everyone with quality health care, at huge savings.

  • Establish an improved “Medicare for All” single-payer public health program to provide everyone with quality health care, at huge savings by eliminating the $400 billion annually spent on  the paperwork and bureaucracy of health insurance. No co-pays, premiums or deductibles. Access to all health care services, including mental health, dental, and vision. Include everyone, period. No restrictions based on pre-existing illness, employment, immigration status, age, or any other category.
  • Eliminate the cancer of health insurance, which adds costs while reducing access to health care.
  • End overcharging for prescription drugs by using bulk purchasing negotiations.
  • Eliminate health disparities in communities of color and low-income communities. Ensure easy access to health care in communities of color, including community health centers.
  • Allow full access to contraceptive and reproductive care.
  • Expand women’s access to “morning after” contraception by lifting the Obama Administration’s ban.
  • Avoid chronic diseases by investing in essential community health infrastructure such as local, fresh, organic food systems, pollution-free renewable energy, phasing out toxic chemicals, and active transportation such as bike paths and safe sidewalks that dovetail with public transit.
  • Ensure that consumers have essential information for making informed food choices by expanding product labeling requirements for country of origin, GMO content, toxic chemical ingredients, and fair trade practices.
  • Prioritize preventive health care, including physical activity, healthy nutrition and pollution prevention.