Health Care has been one of the most important issue for voters. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has made Health Care discourse more critical and urgent during the 2020 elections. Since the onslaught of the pandemic, millions of workers have lost their job, and consequently lost their employer-sponsored health insurance. As job losses mount, millions will end up without insurance while others will turn to publicly supported insurances such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Since taking office Trump has relentlessly pursued to overturn the (ACA), which would wipe out health care for millions of Americans, without having an alternative to replace it. He tried to accomplish this through the U.S. Legislature and although he has not been successful in completely dismantling it, he has weakened some of the ACA key provisions. His administration has now filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Supreme court asking the law be overturned.
On the other hand, Biden as Vice President to Obama worked to get the ACA through Congress. If elected, he plans to expand and strengthen ACA via a public option while also improving access to healthcare. Some of the differences between the two candidates on key issues is outlined below:
To date there have been 8.5 million cases and 223,000 deaths in the U.S.
Trump: Has delegated the response to states, where governors and mayors can pick policies that are appropriate for their region. He has signed legislation that would eliminate out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus testing and has invested in “Operation Warp Speed” which accelerates the research, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.
Biden: Believes the Federal government should lead the response. Would provide free testing for all Americans, and increase testing including creation of home kits. He would hire 100,000 contact tracers at Federal level to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and he plans to invest in vaccine manufacturing and distribution.
Prescription Drug Costs
Trump: Issued an executive order in September aimed at lowering prescription drug prices. He has reduced insulin payment for people on Medicare and supports importation of prescription drugs to lower prices.
Biden: Would, also, decrease the price of prescription drugs. He would give federal government authority to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, and like Trump, supports importation of prescription drugs to lower prices.
Health Care Costs
Trump: Would like to end surprise billing and pushed for price transparency. He issued rules that would require hospitals and insurance companies to disclose pricing to customers enabling consumers to shop around.
Biden: Aligned with Trump on this, would like to see a ban on surprise billing. In addition, Biden proposes to expand federal insurance subsidies and cap insurance cost increases.
Introduced in 1965, Medicaid was enacted to provide health care services to low-income children without parent support, elderly, and people with disabilities. The ACA expanded Medicaid to cover working- age, non-disabled, low income adults.
Trump: Supports spending caps and work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries.
Biden: Would provide more federal support for state Medicaid programs hit by the pandemic. His public option plan would automatically enroll uninsured Americans living in states that did not expand Medicaid, into the ACA.
Medicare is a federal government program that provides health insurance to people 65 and over.
Trump: Promotes use of private insurers through Medicare Advantage program. Seeks to bring down drug costs.
Biden: Would like to expand coverage to allow people to enroll at 60. Would make dental, vision and hearing coverage standard.