Obamacare and the 2016 Presidential Election
A Gallup poll conducted in late August 2016 found that 44 percent of Americans support Obamacare, and 51 percent disapprove of it. The number of uninsured Americans has dropped since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, became law in 2010. Today, 11 percent of Americans remain uninsured compared to 16 percent in six years ago. Despite this success, health insurers are concerned about Obamacare’s financial sustainability.
Generally speaking, the Democrats want to expand government-sponsored healthcare coverage, while Republications are determined to repeal Obamacare. More specifically, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have made it clear they will support their party’s platforms when it comes to healthcare. Regardless of who wins, some changes to benefit plans will most likely occur, which can create a certain amount of confusion during the transition process.
Hillary Clinton’s Healthcare Plan
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton intends to build on the foundation set for the ACA, as she has been a staunch advocate for universal coverage for more than 20 years.
Clinton has come up with a comprehensive healthcare plan and has pledged to expand coverage for millions of Americans. Her goals are to:
- • Build on the Affordable Care Act, which has improved access, affordability, and quality in healthcare.
- • Make Medicaid enrollment easier by continuing to modernize and simplify the process.
- • Allow people over the age of 55 to buy into Medicare.
- • Lower premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for people buying coverage on the healthcare exchange marketplace.
- • Allow states to provide a public health insurance option and compete with private companies.
- • Expand access to affordable healthcare to families regardless of immigration status.
- • Enhance healthcare access to Americans who live in rural areas and often have difficulty finding quality, affordable options.
- • Ensure all women have access to preventive care, affordable contraception, and safe and legal abortion.
Donald Trump’s Healthcare Plan
Republican nominee Donald Trump wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and bring several free market reforms to the healthcare industry. He intends to:
- • Eliminate any penalties assessed on Americans who can afford health insurance but opt not to have it.
- • Lower healthcare costs by allowing insurers to sell their policies across state lines.
- • Allow Americans to deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns.
- • Make contributions into Health Savings Accounts tax-free and allow HSAs to become part of an individual’s estate that can be passed on to heirs without fear of penalties.
- • Give individuals the freedom to shop and find the best prices for procedures, exams and other medical-related procedures.
- • Encourage states to seek out and eliminate healthcare fraud and waste in an attempt to preserve their resources..
- • Offer consumers the opportunity to access imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas.
Other Candidates’ Positions
Green Party candidate Jill Stein supports a “Medicare For All” single-payer public health insurance program and believes healthcare should be a human right. She believes this will ultimate save the country billions of dollars in waste, paper pushing, and pharmaceutical and insurance company profiteering.
Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson opposes government-mandated health insurance and believes that the idea that a government can require an individual to buy something simply because the individual exists and breathes in America is an incredible blow to the bedrock principles of freedom and liberty.
Regardless of who wins the 2016 presidential election, you can expect at least some changes to occur to Obamacare. The best way to be prepared for these changes is to educate yourself on each candidate’s position and how that might affect the delivery of healthcare moving forward.