Presidential candidates have a variety of views on medical care

From increasing government control on the healthcare industry to just imposing regulations, 2020 Presidential Candidates have strong views on medical care.

Madeleine Katz, Online Editor in Chief

The 2020 presidential election is just around the corner and candidates have a wide variety of views on the way the healthcare system should operate. While the right leaning candidate has spent time pushing for reduced prices of pharmaceutical drugs and medical care, many left leaning candidates are pushing for more government control over the healthcare industry to provide more taxpayer funded medical services to Americans.  

The administration of sitting President and Republican Candidate, Donald Trump, has been working to put an end to surprise medical billing. The Trump administration’s legislation that would ban surprise medical billing and is currently being considered by Congress has gained bipartisan support. The proposed bills would make emergency medical care more price transparent so that patients know what they will have to pay for upfront, rather than not knowing the cost of their services until they receive the medical bills for the incident. President Trump is also working to lower the price of prescription drugs and since he has been in office, the prices of prescription drugs have decreased, as reported by the White House. He has also signed an executive order to overturn parts of former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Frontrunner in the democratic polls and former Vice President, Joe Biden, continues to show support for the Affordable Care Act. As stated on Biden’s website, if elected as president, he would work to ensure that public health insurance is available and accessible to everyone. Biden’s proposed healthcare plans would lead to higher numbers of Americans relying on government programs that could significantly increase taxes. He proposes giving middle class families premium tax credit to aid them with the costs of medical insurance. He also included putting an end to surprise medical billing in his healthcare plan. Biden’s healthcare plan includes repealing laws that require waiting periods, ultrasounds, and parental consent for minors to have an abortion.

Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, has a more extreme plan as far as government intervention in healthcare. He proposes that all Americans should receive government provided medical care, paid for by the government through taxpayers’ money. Sanders also supports the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act and Prescription Drug Price Relief Act which both aim to trade with foriegn nations for prescription drugs.

Medicare for all is also included in the healthcare plan of Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Senator. Taking it a step further, she wants the government’s Department of Health and Human Services to start manufacturing pharmaceutical drugs that are not easily available or are priced high. Warren is also proposing legislation that would force insurance companies to increase coverage of mental health services. 

Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, plans to give Americans the option of having government provided medicare while also granting more subsidies to lower-income Americans and setting a maximum of 8.5% for marketplace premium payments. Additionally, caps on costs of medicare for senior citizens, requirements for insurance companies to cover mental health services, and reducing administrative costs are part of Buttigieg’s plan. 

Minnesota Senator, Amy Klobuchar, would support and continue with the Affordable Care Act if elected and wants to use either Medicare or Medicaid to provide universal healthcare. Klobuchar would work towards allowing imports of pharmaceutical drugs and placing a ban on the ‘pay-for-delay’ deals that allow pharmaceutical companies to release drugs on a timeline that benefits them financially but withholds options from the public. Klobuchar’s website is vague on the action she plans on taking as far as women’s health options, but states that she plans to take action on the matter and she is strongly pro-choice. She supports the Social Security program and wants to implement mental health initiatives. 

Philanthropist, Tom Steyer, is another supporter of universal healthcare and wants to put an end to surprise billing. 

Andrew Yang, lawyer and entrepreneur, not only wants to provide medicare for all but wants to put all doctors on flat salaries rather than getting paid based on the services they perform. Yang is against the idea of employers providing healthcare for their employees and believes that the government would do a better job providing Americans with healthcare. 

Avery Gross (‘20) believes that, “medical care is a very important issue to think about when deciding who to vote for in the 2020 election because if you get sick or injured, it’s important to have good options for treatment.” 

It is essential to understand what action each 2020 Presidential Candidate plans to take on healthcare before voting in the election. For more information on healthcare and the candidates’ other stances, check their campaign websites.