The presidential election is right around the corner... and it is a doozy. Both candidates have given us multiple reasons to question their character and ability to run this country. In an effort to shift our focus away from sketchy emails and sexist acts, I’d like us to take a look at the healthcare plans proposed by both of our candidates.
But first, a quick history lesson on our 43rd president. Obama spent a majority of his time in office changing how our country offers healthcare plans. Many people who did not work for big companies simply could not get insured because private insurers were either too expensive or would deny people for pre-existing conditions. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was primarily designed to insure more people. This is great because our uninsured rate across the US has fallen from 15% in 2008 to 11% in 2016.
Let’s not celebrate just yet because our insurance problems as a nation are still very painful. Our healthcare costs are at an all time high and still rising. This has been a recurring theme since 1999 and we are not on track to solving it.
So who can save us from expensive healthcare costs? Let’s dive in and see what Hillary and Donald are proposing.
Trump’s healthcare plan
Trump wants to erase Obamacare completely and replace it with “something great”. Upon first glance this is concerning because millions of Americans covered by the ACA would lose their insurance. Trump is betting big on creating competition by opening borders so insurance companies can sell plans across state lines. This would likely result in some people getting insurance, but most studies show more people would lose their insurance under Trump’s plans.
He promises to make sure people with pre-existing conditions can still get insurance but he hasn’t shared specifics on how he will accomplish this. Finally, Trump’s plan would increase our national deficit because with the repeal of the ACA comes the repeal of the taxes it raises.
Clinton’s healthcare plan
On the opposite side of the ballot, Clinton would like to amend the ACA as she believes Obama has made progress in the right direction. Her first change would be to make healthcare more affordable, especially for low income families, through tax credits. This would make it less expensive to get coverage but add to our country’s budget deficit.
The most interesting item on Clinton’s plan is her idea to add a public insurance option to the exchange. This would allow anyone (not just seniors and low income people) to get coverage through the government. Most studies show that her tax credits and public option will increase the number of insured people.
Will either plan significantly reduce the costs of healthcare. Not likely. Trump believes selling across state lines is going to make competition so great that prices will drop... Clinton believes that a public option will put price pressure on private insurers…
Regardless of who becomes our 44th president, the graph above is likely going to continue on the path it is on.