With the Democratic National Convention behind us, Hillary Clinton has become the party’s official nominee to be President of the United States. In a previous post on the presidential candidates, we took a look at her campaign’s public policy positions on healthcare, which was one of the more pronounced points of contention between her and Democratic primary rival Bernie Sanders. Clinton is now shifting her focus to identify the differences between her campaign and those of the Republican Party nominee Donald Trump.
At issue for the two candidates now are these facts:
- Healthcare now comprises approximately seventeen percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
- The escalating costs of Medicare are the biggest contributor to America’s growing national debt.
- Pharmaceutical drug costs are the fastest growing segment of U.S. spending.
- Serious illness is the most common factor in personal bankruptcy.
Hillary Clinton is well-known for her leadership in healthcare reform during the Clinton Administration in the 90s, and her current positions on the issue largely reflect those she held during that time. Her goal is still universal healthcare, and in the short term she continues to support tax credits for lowering premiums and consumer expenses, as well as incentivizing states to expand Medicaid.
Mrs. Clinton’s policy agenda for healthcare includes a priority on lowering copayments and prescription drug costs, and she wants a public option to be a central part of the new healthcare system. Other healthcare agenda priorities for candidate Clinton include:
- Defending and expanding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which currently covers 20 million people. As part of her pledge for a public option, she supports people over 55 years old buying into Medicare.
- Reducing the cost of prescription drugs. Prescription drug spending accelerated from 2.5 percent in 2013 to 12.6 percent in 2014. The Clinton campaign reports that “almost three-quarters of Americans believe prescription drug costs are unreasonable.”
- Securing health insurance for the lowest-income Americans in every state by incentivizing states to expand Medicaid, and make enrollment through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act easier.
- Expanding access to affordable healthcare to families regardless of immigration status by allowing families to buy health insurance on state-health exchanges.
- Expanding access to rural Americans, who often have difficulty finding quality, affordable healthcare.
- Bringing down out-of-pocket costs for healthcare like copayments and deductibles.
- Defending access for reproductive healthcare.
Within Mrs. Clinton’s campaign platform is the inclusion of messaging popularized by Senator Bernie Sanders during the primary: that healthcare should be a right rather than a privilege. With Sanders’ strong showing in the primary, we can expect other cooperative initiatives between Clinton and Sanders as her campaign progresses.
We promised to keep you updated on the candidates’ healthcare platforms as we cycle through the presidential run for The White House. While both the Democratic and Republican campaigns have vigorous healthcare dialogues on how to improve healthcare in this country, the agendas are markedly different.
The next step in the evolution of our country’s healthcare reform will soon be decided, by the American people.
To learn more about Hillary Clinton’s healthcare pledge, visit her website: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/health-care/.
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