On the issue of health care in the United States, the two major party candidates could not be more divided - Hillary Clinton would expand the federally funded Affordable Care Act, and increase federal oversight of the insurance companies that dominate the market. Donald Trump says, if elected, he would repeal the landmark 2010 healthcare law. He cites runaway costs, websites that don't work, greater rationing of care, higher premiums, less competition and fewer choices for American families.
Obamacare, as it is widely known, has had its fair share of unintended consequences. Candidates further to the left than Hillary Clinton such as Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein have repeatedly called for a single-payer system akin to the laws in Europe and in Canada.
Sen. Sanders' "Medicare for All" plan, however, hinges on a belief that medical care is a fundamental right for all - and that all Americans must pay more in taxes in order for the government to expense the rising costs of healthcare. Clinton's proposal is not all the way there - it accepts the current status quo, and devises new mechanisms in an attempt to lower costs.
Here's how the former FLOTUS differs from businessman Donald Trump in their approach to healthcare:
Donald Trump on healthcare
Promising to repeal Obamacare on "day one," Trump has largely parroted proposals given by other Republican leaders, which would attempt to cut insurance premiums through a series tax cuts and an effort to deregulated healthcare markets. Studies have shown that his plan would lower insurance premiums across the board while leaving 18 million Americans uninsured. He would reduce government costs and simplify our tax returns through a series of conservative measures:
A promise to allow insurance companies to sell plans across state lines, as long as they comply with requirements of the individual states.
Use a system of block grants to pay for Medicaid within states, rather than having the U.S. government pays the states a percentage of costs.
Give the right for individual ownership of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), tax free.
Allow individuals to fully deduct the cost of health insurance premiums on their tax returns.
"Make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance" and "review basic options for Medicaid and work with states," although no specifics have been given on how this would be accomplished.
Require "price transparency" from all healthcare providers, though no specifics have been given.
Give individuals the right to import drugs from other countries.
Hillary Clinton on healthcare
Central to her pitch to voters is a promise to defend the Affordable Care Act, and expand upon it, moving the ball forward for those who argue that a "Medicare for All" option needs to be on the table. Congress would be involved in many of her proposals, which attempt to lower out-of-pocket healthcare costs through a series of liberal measures:
Encourage Medicaid expansion by states by providing 100% matching funds for the first 3 years to any any state that signs up for the Medicaid expansion.
Require plans to provide 3 sick visits every year before the consumer has the start paying the deductible.
Ensure families who shop on government exchanges do not spend more than 8.5% of their income on premiums through a system of tax credits.
A tax credit of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses exceeding 5% of their annual income. It would progressively decrease and then eventually become unavailable to those in higher tax brackets.
Strengthen government regulation of unjustifiable health insurance rate increases, and create language to specify what an illegal unjustifiable hike would look like.
An expense of $500 million per year in taxpayer money for Medicaid or other health insurance programs through health navigators, advertising and other outreach activities.
Doctors and hospitals would be incentivized to coordinate care in an Accountable Care Organization. Specifics have not yet been outlined by the Clinton campaign.
Antitrust laws would be enforced to scrutinize mergers by top companies, in an effort to curb market monopolization trends.
Allow people to buy insurance on health exchanges regardless of their immigration status.
Include a new public option, based on the model of Medicare, that would be available to people shopping on exchanges
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