A factual analysis of health care in the 2020 election

Healthcare Election Issues to know

I write about healthcare pretty often here.

Issue #1: the Affordable Care Act.

Background: The latest Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) case is back in the Supreme Court. This case, Texas v. California, is a hot-button issue for about 20 or so million Americans covered by the ACA.

The legal case challenges whether the ACA is still valid after the repeal of the individual mandate in late 2017. Remember that the individual mandate was a tax penalty for not having health insurance. This case marks the ACA’s third appearance in front of the Supreme Court. In its first two appearances, the ACA made it out unscathed with minor tweaks.

In Texas v. California, the prosecution’s case seems even weaker than the first two challenges because the main argument relies on the fact that the individual mandate clause cannot be severed from the rest of the healthcare law. So, because Congress repealed the individual mandate, that makes the entire ACA illegal.

While the argument isn’t the strongest, a conservative shifting of justices could end badly for the ACA. At that point, the Supreme Court would decide whether the entire ACA needs to be struck down or if it can still exist in an altered form.

Should the ACA be replaced? Republicans argue that the ACA resulted in rising health care costs for families. Democrats contend that the ACA led to better health care access for low-income populations. You decide for yourself!

Issue #2: Coronavirus response.

Background: We will never know how a Biden-led administration would have handled the pandemic’s early stages. As we’re all aware, hindsight is 20/20.

With that in mind, coronavirus information is now widespread and the candidates are on an even playing field. Here’s how the candidates differ on future approaches to the pandemic:

Issue #3: Medicare.

Background: Medicare is a key issue for senior voters and Baby Boomers aging into the program. In particular, the next president may face the Medicare program going bankrupt: a potential solvency crisis if left unaddressed

Issue #4: Pricing reform.

Trump and Biden agree on a lot of key cost reform issues, including drug pricing, surprise billing, price transparency, and more. The problem more so lies with troubles PASSING the legislation.

Biden in Summary.

Summary positions:

Trump in Summary.

Link to White House health care section.

During his first four years, Trump engaged in step-wise health care reform. He introduced cost saving features like expanded health reimbursement arrangements.

In true Republican fashion, he attempted to shift Medicaid to a block grant structure.

Finally, Trump laid the groundwork for price transparency in health care and enacted site neutral payment policy. These policies were two key steps forward in a price-opaque industry.

Other summary positions:

Data & Resources.

(Healthy Muse) The Healthy Muse Election 2020 Healthcare HUB

(Biden) Joe Biden’s health care plan from his own website.

(Rand) Potential effects of a Public Option.

(Trump) HHS’ strategic goals.

(HHS) Republicans’ 2017 Repeal and Replace Health Care Plan

(Healthcare Dive) A timeline of the ACA and its past two appearances in the SCOTUS.

(SCOTUS Blog) Texas v. California timeline.

(Kaiser Family Foundation) Explaining Texas v. California.

(Kaiser Family Foundation) The Public’s views on the Affordable Care Act

(Brookings) What the ACA has changed over the past decade, and where things would revert if the health law were struck down in its entirety.

Commentaries & Opinions.

(Commonwealth Fund) Health Care 2020 and the Presidential election — what’s at stake

(The Hill) Trump’s Health Care Plan

(Healthcare Dive) Election 2020: Trump and Biden’s starkly diverging views on healthcare

(OPINION — WSJ) Biden’s public option would mean massive tax hikes

(CNBC) Trump vs. Biden on Medicare — how each wants to change it.

Originally published at https://thehealthymuse.com.

I write about healthcare. Policy, business, digital health, & more. Written in plain English. Here to connect, learn, and continue the healthcare convo.