Amidst the ubiquitous poll numbers and televised debates that draw widespread attention to the 2016 presidential candidates, lies the issue of healthcare. With a variety of stances present in the field, it’s important to consider the potential plans that will shape the healthcare system in the years to come. Whether attune to or averse to the political landscape of the country, the policies shaped by the next commander-in-chief will impact us all. Here is a summary of the vision current front-runner candidates have for healthcare in America.
Within the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have quite the difference in their philosophy on the fate of the current Affordable Care Act. Secretary Clinton believes in keeping the majority of the Act . Among her proposed policies include initiatives to put a limit to out-of-pocket drug costs [ibid]. Senator Sanders, on the other hand, has proposed a single-payer healthcare system that would essentially be a Medicaid-for-all system , though he too is seeking to address high prescription drug costs. The Republican group of candidates, on the other hand, has expressed a pronounced desire to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. Donald Trump believes in open competition and letting individuals shop for insurance, though in 2000 he supported universal healthcare . Senator Cruz in 2013 led a government shutdown in an effort to defund the Affordable Care [ibid], and seeks to repeal the entire Act. Senator Rubio has opposed the Act, saying it stifles entrepreneurship [ibid].
On the subject of vaccines, there is more concurrence. Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders favor vaccinations , saying they are supported by science and electing not to vaccinate is dangerous, respectively . Donald Trump says he’s for vaccines, but believes in “smaller quantities to avoid autism” [ibid]. Senators Cruz and Rubio believe in vaccinations [ibid].
In light of global health issues, the candidates have differing levels of commitment. In 2014, to combat Ebola Secretary Clinton proposed putting resources into Africa, and in 2007 pledged to support $50 billion towards AIDs relief in the US and around the world . Senator Rubio said that only the US could combat Ebola, and that the World Health Organization could not [ibid].
In deciding which candidate is most fit to be the next leader of our country, we must ask what we believe to be the ideal and pragmatic health system ourselves. Do you believe in a centralized or decentralized system? A president that will place global health issues high on the priority list? These are all questions to consider the next time you hear from the 2017 presidential hopefuls.
Written By: Prima Manandhar-Sasaki
“Presidential candidates on healthcare.” New York Times. n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016
“2016 presidential candidates on healthcare.” Ballotpedia. n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
“Health Care.” On the Issues. n.d. Web 16 Feb. 2016