photo courtesy of The Midnight Sun 2016
We are just weeks away from the 2016 Presidential Election and one of the hottest topics on the chopping block is health care. Each of the presidential nominees has vowed to make major changes to the American healthcare system, which will impact everything from monthly insurance premiums to the cost of prescription drugs and Medicaid. Per each of their campaigns, here is a breakdown of what Clinton and Trump have planned for the industry.
Affordable Health Care Act
Hillary Clinton plans to:
- Strengthen, improve, and build upon the Affordable Care Act to cover more Americans.
- Launch a national campaign to enroll people who are eligible but not already enrolled in insurance plans; explore cost-effective ways to make affordable health care available to rural Americans who often have difficulty finding quality, affordable healthcare.
- Fix the “family glitch” aspect of the system and expand access to affordable healthcare to families, allowing them to purchase health insurance on the health exchange regardless of a family’s immigration status
- Get health care costs under control so those that have health insurance can afford the care that they need. She will also fight to keep insurance affordable by giving the Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to monitor and prevent health insurance premiums from unreasonable increases.
- Advocate for health insurance for the lowest-income Americans in every state by incentivizing states to expand Medicaid. Clinton will put forth a plan to give Americans across the country the choice of enrolling in a public-option insurance plan
- Expand Medicare coverage by allowing consumers to begin purchasing Medicare at age 55 and above
- Reduce the cost of prescription drugs and bring down out-of-pocket copays and deductibles
- Double the funding for primary care services at community health centers over the next decade, giving affordable healthcare options to millions more people; supports President Obama’s initiatives to triple the size of the National Health Service Corps
- Address the sticker shock of deductibles and co-pays of low premium individual health plans by providing a tax credit of up to $5,000 per family to cover those out-of-pocket expenses
- Put in place a new, progressive refundable tax credit of up to %5,000 per family for “excessive out-of-pocket costs.”
Donald Trump has vowed to:
- Get rid of the Affordable Health Care Act in its entirety, which he would put into motion during his first day in office
- Do away with the mandate that every American should have coverage. “No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to,” he explains.
- Instead of requiring insurers to provide coverage to every citizen, he would work with states to create “high risk pools” to offer coverage for sick people that otherwise would be denied coverage for having a pre-existing condition under an Obamacare-free healthcare industry
- Allow individuals to take a tax deduction for individual health care premiums
- In order to increase competition and lower costs, he would allow insurance companies to sell products across state lines.
- Heavily promote the use of a Health Savings Account (HAS). Under his plan, contributions would be tax-free and would be allowed to accumulate. The accounts would then become part of an individual’s estate and would be passed to their heirs as a tax-free transfer
- Require price transparency from all hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, and healthcare organizations so that individuals can shop to find the best prices for medical-related procedures
Clinton plans to:
- Work with governors to expand Medicaid in every state and make access to care not be dependent on a consumer’s geographic location
- Allow people 55 and older to buy into Medicare.
- A block grant of Medicaid to the states, noting that “nearly every state already offers benefits beyond what is required in the current Medicaid structure.”
- He would allow a state government to manage Medicaid without federal intervention.
- Trump promises not to cut Medicare but calls for “major changes” with the system.
Prescription Drug Costs
To lower the cost of prescription drugs, Clinton plans to:
- Stop direct-to-consumer drug company advertising subsidies and reinvest funds in research
- Require drug companies that benefit from taxpayers’ support to invest in research, not marketing or profits
- Cap monthly and annual out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs to save patients
- Increase competition for prescription drugs, including specialty drugs, to drive down prices and give consumers more choices
- Prohibit “pay for delay” arrangements that keep generic competition off the market
- Allow Americans to import drugs from abroad — “with careful protections for safety and quality”
- Ensure American consumers are getting value for their drugs
Trump plans to:
- Allow consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas, which will bring more options to consumers
- 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.”
- Enforce immigration laws, eliminate fraud and waste, and energize the economy to relieve the economic pressure felt by every American – “Providing healthcare to illegal immigrants costs us some $11 billion annually. If we were to simply enforce the current immigration laws and restrict the unbridled granting of visas to this country, we could relieve healthcare cost pressures on state and local governments,” he denotes.
Women’s Reproductive Health
- Is very adamant about giving a woman the right to choose her own reproductive rights; will work to ensure that all women have access to preventative care, affordable contraception, and safe and legal abortion
- Plans to keep Planned Parenthood running
- Has proposed ways in which to lower incidents of sexual assault and vows to make that a priority
- Will push the federal government to give 12 weeks of family leave for new mothers and fathers.
- Strongly opposed to abortion and plans to appoint anti-abortion judges to the Supreme Court.
- Has proposed six weeks of guaranteed paid maternity leave.
- Is vying for early diagnosis and interventions, including launching a national initiative for suicide prevention.
- Wants to integrate the nation’s mental and physical health care system to focus on “whole person” and “community-based” treatments
- Wants to train law enforcement officers in crisis intervention techniques
- Invest in brand and behavioral research to develop safe and effective treatment options for those battling mental health ailments
Trump calls for:
- A “complete reform” of mental health programs and institutions – “Families, without the ability to get the information needed to help those who are ailing, are too often not given the tools to help their loved ones. There are promising reforms being developed in Congress that should receive bi-partisan support,” he suggests.
Looking at the Numbers
Common Wealth Fund conducted research to look at the financial impact of each presidential candidate’s healthcare plans, and this is what they came up with:
And Rand conducted research to see how the plans would affect uninsured Americans:
As we get closer to voting day, Americans have been very vocal about their desires to overhaul the universal healthcare system. Hopefully, the above information will provide you with some information on what the industry will potentially look like under the Clinton or Trump administration. We’ll find out exactly what changes will be made on November 8th!