As we head into the final 100 days before the 2020 presidential election, we have launched this weekly series to help inform voters about the three candidates who will be on their ballot for President in November. In this article, we will address the three candidates’ approach to health care policy. Should the government control and administer health care? Should patients be free to seek whatever medical care they desire? Here’s where they stand:
Joe Biden and Democrats generally believe that the federal government should control and administer healthcare for all persons in the United States. Increasingly each year, Democrats support the elimination of private companies, especially in the health care sector. Top Democrats have confirmed that they passed the ‘Affordable Care Act’ (Obamacare) in 2010 as a stepping stone to a 100% government-administered healthcare system for the whole US. Biden also supports government-imposed price controls for new drugs. According to his website, Biden does not believe that the free market could provide satisfactory health care to patients; only politicians could ensure that all Americans have high quality affordable health care.
Donald Trump and Republicans believe that the government should be moderately involved in health care and that they should administer lots of healthcare, just like the Democratic Party does. Republicans diverge from the progressive Democrats on this issue in their support for some private enterprise in the medical sector, though. We know this because Trump and Republicans controlled the whole federal government for all of 2017 and 2018 and only made minor adjustments to federal health care policy; they largely maintained the status quo, in which the federal government controls nearly every facet of health care via Medicaid, Medicare, FDA, CDC, and many other agencies, including the entire $1.3 trillion HHS budget. In general, Republicans and President Trump support the bulk of Obamacare. Among the many new laws created by Obamacare were the tax/fine punishing people for having no health insurance, requiring insurance companies to insure every person, and requiring insurance companies to keep adults on their parents’ insurance plans until 26 years of age. “I made an iron-clad pledge to American families. We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions”, Trump said in his 2020 SOTU speech, in which he boasted about how much his administration is doing to steer the healthcare industry in the right direction. On his 2020 campaign website, Trump reminds American voters how much he has done to control healthcare in the US, including “…more than $1 billion in FY2017 to be used to improve access to health care services for 2.5 million people in rural communities.” and “a six-year extension of CHIP to fund healthcare for 9 million.”
Jo Jorgensen and Libertarians generally believe that the government should have no involvement in health care. The Libertarian nominee for President explains that she trusts people to make their own health care choices instead of politicians deciding for them: “Republican and Democratic policies over the past fifty years are the reason health care has become so expensive. Their latest proposals to ‘fix’ health care will further micromanage your doctors and restrict your access to care while failing to solve the underlying problem. They differ only on whether this should be done by private insurance companies or government bureaucrats. This is the exact opposite of what needs to be done. We can reduce the cost of health care 75% by allowing real price competition, and by substantially reducing government and insurance company paperwork. This will make health care affordable for most Americans, while also reducing the cost of legacy programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA.” Beyond her view that healthcare should have no government involvement, Jorgensen advocates for terminally ill patients to try medications not yet approved by the FDA. She supports the legalization of cannabis and believes it should be made available to all Americans, especially in regards to medicinal purposes. She believes that cannabis should be available to all Americans, especially for medical purposes. In general, Libertarians do not trust politicians with control over our health care.