Healthcare is a basic right. American health care system cost over 3 trillion dollars in 2014 and it is projected to increase to 4.5 trillion in 2019. Healthcare cost is consistently increasing faster than the economy as a whole. It continues to grow faster particularly on the consumer level faster than the family income. Nearly 47 million lack health insurance, two-thirds of them have income below 200% of the federal poverty level. Most of them are families with a worker that do not have health coverage through an employer. Health insurance is clearly not affordable by families who must purchase it on their own. Even Americans who have health insurance face affordability problems in paying for their health insurance and health care.
A study made by the American Journal of Medicine in 2007 found that approximately 62% of all personal bankruptcies were related to medical bills. 78% of them have health insurance yet went bankrupt due to gaps in coverage such as deductibles, co-payments and uncovered services. Some of them have private insurance but they went ill that they lost their business and lost their insurance. More and more Americans fall into debt and need to ask for a loan from lenders like the ACM debt group to help settle their medical bills.
The Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare that was passed in 2010 curbs the rate of growth in healthcare spending, yet it also adds additional spending. Health care reform is the first step toward fixing the health care problem. Healthcare has been a major issue in many political campaigns in the last of the four elections. American voters need detailed and effective plans of presidential candidates on how to deal with the realities of health care. Let’s take a look on the 2016 candidates’ stance on health care to learn which presidential candidate will best protect America’s health:
Clinton defends the ACA against the efforts to repeal it but will promote incremental reforms. She’ll build on it to expand affordable coverage while slowly decreasing the overall health care costs. She proposed capping out-of-pocket drug costs like copays and deductibles. She believes that workers have to share in slower growth of health care spending through lower costs. She advocates Medicare drug price negotiation for high cost prescription drugs. Hillary would allow drug importation from other countries to lower the cost. She proposes to give $5,000 tax credit to families with very high medical costs. She plans on transforming the health care system to reward value and quality.
Sanders calls for a single-payer national health insurance system in which the state and federal government pay for health care services. He vows to replace the ACA with a government-run Medicare for all program. His plan will cover the entire health care from inpatient to outpatient care, preventive to emergency care, primary to specialty care which include including long-term and palliative care; hearing, vision, and oral health care; mental health and substance abuse services; as well as prescription medications, diagnostics, treatments medical equipment and supplies. He also plans to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. He would allow drug importation from other countries to have generic competition and lower prices.
Trump will repeal the ACA and plans to replace it with something better which lack specificity. He wants to keep the ACA’s rules which mandate that people can purchase insurance even with “pre-existing conditions. He will allow people to purchase insurance across state lines. He has a seven-point plan for health care reform based on free market principles to bring in competition. He would allow the importation of cheaper drugs from other countries. He also proposes the use of tax-preferred health savings accounts to save money that is exempt from estate taxes.
Whoever takes the seat in the oval office next January, health care should be the top priority. He needs to provide more details of his proposed health care plans and how he plans to achieve it. He needs to explain his positions and how the government can answer the health care problem of the nation. He also needs to see the importance of educating the public to be smarter healthcare consumers. His government should pursue policies that lead to more sustainable healthcare systems that will greatly benefit the American people.