Republican And Democratic Platforms On Health Care
Political party platforms are typically loaded with rhetoric designed to fire up the political base, and, as such, are often not taken seriously. But piercing through the rhetoric there are often concepts of substance, good or bad. Take health care.
The Democratic platform of 2008 promised us a market of private health plans with government subsidies. That, in essence, is what we got as a major feature of the Affordable care Act. The Democrats rejected single payer and instead delivered on their comparatively feeble platform promises.
For the preliminary draft of their 2016 platform, the Democrats again voted to reject single payer and substituted it with a health care is a right statement void of any meaningful policy. They support instead mere tweaks to the Affordable Car Act.
Reading past the Republicans rhetoric, they are now promising in their platform changes to two of our most important government health programs. They would convert Medicare to a premium support program, shifting costs away from the federal government and onto the backs of Medicare beneficiaries. They would also establish block grants to the states for the Medicaid program, shifting costs from the federal government and onto the states, many of which which would likely respond with a reduction in essential health care benefits for the needy.
The Republican Party Platform
Unfortunately, the Republican Party agenda offers few details to work with. The party declined to enact a platform for 2020, kicking that work to 2024, and the Trump campaigns recently released second-term agenda has seven very generic bullet-point items:
Cut prescription drug prices
Put patients and doctors back in charge of our healthcare system
Lower healthcare insurance premiums
Protect Social Security and Medicare and
Protect our veterans and provide world-class healthcare and services.
All seven of the above items read more like goals than policy proposals. Nonetheless, the following questions may be relevant to taxpayers:
Overall, the Trump campaigns second-term health care agenda is lacking in details. The campaign and the Republican Party owe consumers and taxpayers fuller explanations. Fortunately, their allies in the Republican Study Committee and elsewhere are offering expansive, detailed platforms for the GOP. NTU also hopes some of the below alternatives can be adopted by one or both parties as they consider a governing agenda for 2021.
Questions For The Major Parties On Their Health Care Platforms
The Republican and Democratic parties have each released some version of a platform or agenda for the 2020 election, and the release of these platforms raises several important questions for taxpayers.
Health care is, yet again, one of the most important issues facing policymakers this election season. National Taxpayers Union has a stake in federal and state health policy for several reasons, chief among them that good health policy can foster innovation for consumers and cost savings to major federal- and state-run health programs for taxpayers.
What follows is an analysis of the 2020 Democratic Party platform on health care and the 2020 Trump campaign second-term agenda on health care . We will follow up with some NTU suggestions for pro-growth, pro-taxpayer alternatives that could serve either party well in 2021 and beyond.
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Expanding Healthcare Insurance Coverage Top Issue For Democrats
While Trump and the Republicans will focus on drug prices and cost control, the Democrats will call for more health insurance coverage for those who are uninsured, including those who have lost their employer-sponsored insurance, says Daniel Mendelson, the founder of the health care consulting firm Avalere Health.
Healthcare is almost always a top priority for Democrats, and healthcare and COVID-19 are together because virtually all Democrats want to get the pandemic under control, Mendelson said.
When the pandemic took off this spring, most of infections and serious cases and deaths were in blue states, including Washington State, which is where the first outbreak occurred, California and New York where the most deaths occurred. But the pandemic started to affect red states this summer and fall. This week, the CDC is reporting that North and South Dakota, Montana, Arkansas and Tennessee are experiencing the highest rate of deaths per 100,000 population.
“As a result, it has changed from being a blue-state issue to being one that all of us share collectively, says Mendelson.
What that means, in Mendelsons opinion, is that the governments role in healthcare is likely to increase.
Layoffs and the loss of employer-sponsored health insurance will create an urgency for a public option, Mediare for all, or both, says Mendelson.
Even before the recession, Medicare and Medicaid and then after the recession started, even more people became eligible for Medicaid, he reported.
Expanding Access To Mental Health And Substance Use Treatment
Every American who needs it should be able to access mental health care or substance use disorder treatment, no matter where they live. Democrats will aggressively enforce the federal mental health and substance use disorder parity law and ensure that health insurers adequately cover mental health and substance use treatment. We will also invest in training and hiring more mental health providers, substance use disorder counselors, and peer support counselors, including by expanding funding for health clinics, especially in rural areas, and increasing access to these services through Medicaid. Trauma has a profound effect on both mental and physical health, and Democrats will support increased training for health care professionals, educators, social workers, and other care workers in trauma-informed care and practices. We will oppose efforts to weaken HIPAA and FERPA privacy rights of people with mental illness.
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Republican View On Healthcare
Republicans take pretty much the opposite view of Democrats. Traditionally dedicated to the notion that less government is better government, and the free market makes adjustments on its own without regulation, the party has fought every reform the Democrats have enacted. Much of this comes down to their traditional diametrically opposed notions of what is best for Americans. Citing freedom of choice and the sacrosanct doctor-patient relationship, predicting huge losses to the economy in general, arguing that the ACA doesnt work despite years of evidence to the contrary, the GOP would rather scrap it and go with the status quo as it stood before the ACA was passed. Their key phrase is Why should healthy people pay more to cover sick and poor people?
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Democrats Vs Republicans On Health Care
Democrats severely disagree with the Republican agenda regarding health care and Medicare. Republicans are fighting tooth and nail against the Affordable Care Act, in hopes of having it repealed, while Democrats still stand behind it, adamant that all Americans are entitled to health care. The largest discrepancy in beliefs is in the cost of the act. While Republicans believe that the Affordable Care Act will economically damage the country, Democrats believe that making health care available and more affordable to Americans will help heal the economy. The Republicans state that the cost of the Affordable Care Act to businesses is too great, and will cause them to cut hours or lay off employees in order to account for the greater costs. Democrats, however, believe that the cost to businesses is far more reasonable than the high cost to individual Americans would be without the act in place.
On the topic of Medicare, Democrats believe that the Republican budget plan would end Medicare as we know it. Democrats adamantly oppose any efforts to privatize or voucherize Medicare unlike our opponents we will not ask seniors to pay thousands of dollars more every year while they watch the value of their Medicare benefits evaporate. They believe that the Medicare prescription programs put into place by President Bush were more beneficial to drug companies than they were to subscribers, and strongly support Obama revoking them.
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History Of The Democratic And Republican Parties
The Democratic Party traces its origins to the anti-federalist factions around the time of Americas independence from British rule. These factions were organized into the Democrat Republican party by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other influential opponents of the Federalists in 1792.
The Republican party is the younger of the two parties. Founded in 1854 by anti-slavery expansion activists and modernizers, the Republican Party rose to prominence with the election of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president. The party presided over the American Civil War and Reconstruction and was harried by internal factions and scandals towards the end of the 19th century.
Since the division of the Republican Party in the election of 1912, the Democratic party has consistently positioned itself to the left of the Republican Party in economic as well as social matters. The economically left-leaning activist philosophy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which has strongly influenced American liberalism, has shaped much of the party’s economic agenda since 1932. Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition usually controlled the national government until 1964.
The Republican Party today supports a pro-business platform, with foundations in economic libertarianism, and fiscal and social conservatism.
Is Marriage Legal In The Us
The GOP, which has a large Christian voting base, favours traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
However, the more socially progressive Democrats have in recent years pushed for same sex marriage which is now legal in every US state thanks to the Supreme Court which ruled that restricting marriage licenses would be unconstitutional.
But not all liberal politicians have supported gay marriage. Indeed, until recently, publicly supporting same sex unions was deemed risky when running for public office.
In 1996, Democratic President Bill Clinton signed the Defence of Marriage Act which prevented federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
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The Party Needs To Spend The Next Few Years Doing More Than Opposing Medicare For All
Reps. Kevin Brady and Greg Walden at a health-care press conference in 2017.
Republicans and Democrats in Washington are stalemated on health care. Republicans long campaigned on repealing the Affordable Care Act and won House and Senate seats on the issue in 2010 and later. Democrats flipped the script in 2018 and attacked Republicans for trying to undermine the laws protections for pre-existing conditions. But for now at least, a President Biden will be unable to pass a public option, and Republicans will be unable to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The question the GOP ought to ponder is: What does it want to accomplish on health care?
Mr. Biden may make changes on the margins. He might expand ObamaCare by adding special enrollment periods, banning short-term health plans, automating enrollment for low-income beneficiaries in states that havent expanded Medicaid, or by making subsidies more generous. Republicans will likely continue challenging the law in court.
Opposition to ObamaCare and a single-payer health system kept Republicans united but unprepared to act when they controlled the White House, House and Senate in 2017. The GOP repealed the individual mandate penalty, health-insurance tax, medical-device tax and Cadillac tax, but the Affordable Care Act remains largely intact. Conservatives must now use their time to prepare, so they wont be caught flat-footed next time they are in charge. Consider three questions:
The Philosophy Behind Republican Economic Policy
Republicans advocate supply-side economics that primarily benefits businesses and investors. This theory states that tax cuts on businesses allow them to hire more workers, in turn increasing demand and growth. In theory, the increased revenue from a stronger economy offsets the initial revenue loss over time.
Republicans advocate the right to pursue prosperity without government interference. They argue this is achieved by self-discipline, enterprise, saving, and investing.
Republicans business-friendly approach leads most people to believe that they are better for the economy. A closer look reveals that Democrats are, in many respects, actually better.
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Premium Subsidies And Affordability
The ACA’s premium subsidies were designed to keep health insurance affordable for people who buy their own coverage in the individual market. Premiums for individual market plans increased alarmingly in 2017 and 2018, although they were much more stable in 2019 and 2020, and rate changes for 2021 appear to be mostly modest. But premiums for people who aren’t eligible for premium subsidies can still amount to a substantial portion of their income.
The individual market is a very small segment of the population, however, and rate increases have been much more muted across the full population .
Democrats have proposed various strategies for making coverage and care affordable. Joe Biden’s healthcare proposal includes larger premium subsidies that would be based on the cost of a benchmark gold plan and based on having people pay only 8.5% of their income for that plan . Biden’s proposal would also eliminate the ACA’s income cap for premium subsidy eligibility and provide subsidies to anyone who would otherwise have to pay more than 8.5% of their income for a benchmark gold plan. This would eliminate the “subsidy cliff” that currently exists for some enrollees.
The 2020 Democratic Party platform calls for a “public option” health plan that would compete with private health insurance carriers in an effort to bring down prices, and lowering the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 60.
Democrats Push To Retool Health Care Programs For Millions
WASHINGTON Dental work for seniors on Medicare. An end to skys-the-limit pricing on prescription drugs. New options for long-term care at home. Coverage for low-income people locked out of Medicaid by ideological battles.
Those are just some of the changes to health care that Democrats want to achieve with President Joe Bidens massive Build Back Better plan. The $3.5 trillion domestic agenda bill touches almost all aspects of American life, from taxes to climate change, but the health care components are a cornerstone for Democrats, amplified during the COVID-19 crisis.
For the nearly 145 million Americans covered by government health programs, along with their families and communities, the investment in the nations services could make a difference in the quality of life for decades.
Its a holistic look at how health care can be not just expanded, but better directed to the needs that people actually have, Kathleen Sebelius, federal health secretary under President Barack Obama, said of the Biden bill. Youve got a plan thats really aimed at the serious gaps in health care that are still causing people to either go totally uninsured, or run out of money in the course of their treatments.
But Democrats can only succeed if they bridge divisions among themselves. Dont look for Republicans to help.
Medicaid expansion breakthrough within reach in N. Carolina
Major health care provisions in the mix include:
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Republicans V Democrats On The Aca Health Insurance
The Democrats who have a list of what they see as the solutions to the healthcare problems that many Americans face as the cost of care rises and the economy wobbles because of the pandemic. Increasing unemployment has meant more Americans have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance and the Democrats want to provide them with coverage. The Democrats would prefer to provide coverage under the ACA, which was signed into law in 2010 with the major provisions going into effect in 2014. They could do so through Medicaid at least in the 38 states that chosen to expand the state-and-federal health care program under the ACA. In addition, some progressive Democrats favor a sweeping Medicare-for-all, single-payer system. The centrists in the party, including presidential candidate Joe Biden, favor modifying the ACA. Biden has proposing increasing subsidies for people buying coverage on the ACA exchanges and allowing people to enroll in Medicare starting at age 60.
President Donald Trump and Republicans want to repeal the ACA. The administration supports the 20 states that filed a lawsuit arguing that the ACA is unconstitutional because the individual mandate provision was eliminated. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in that case, Texas v. California, on Nov. 10.
Democrats Republicans And Your Health Insurance
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a healthcare journalist and fact checker. She has co-authored two books for the popular Dummies Series .
Healthcare reform has been a contentious political topic in the U.S. for many years, and is shaping up to play a major role in the 2020 presidential and congressional elections. What does each party want? Let’s take a look at how the priorities of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party could impact your health insurance.
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More Choices And Lower Costs Without Obamacare
Obamacare is making things worse by the day. It drives up premiums and deductible costs for individuals, families, and businesses. It forces people off the plans they like. It fuels waste, fraud, and abuse. And it cannot be fixed. Its knot of regulations, taxes, and mandates cannot be untangled. Obamacare must be fully repealed so we can start over and take anew approach. This isn’t a return to the pre-Obamacare status quo. And it isn’t just an attempt to replace Obamacare and leave it at that. This is a new approach. It’s a step-by-step plan to give every American access to quality, affordable health care. Our plan recognizes that people deserve more patient-centered care, not more bureaucracy. That means more choices, not more mandates. You should have the freedom and the flexibility to choose the care that’s best for you. Insurers should compete for your business, and treat you fairly–no matter what. You and your family should have access to the best lifesaving treatments in the world. And as you get older, Medicare should give you more choices too. At every step, you should be in the driver’s seat. This is a better way.