Obamacare | 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates

What do the Democratic Candidates Believe About Obamacare?

Y= Eliminate and replace Obamacare N=Not to Eliminate Obamacare   M=Modify Obamacare


Hillary Clinton: M

Going forward, Hillary will build on these efforts and fight to ensure that the savings from these reforms benefits families—not just insurance companies, drug companies, and large corporations.


Defend the Affordable Care Act. Hillary will continue to defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) against Republican efforts to repeal it. She’ll build on it to expand affordable coverage, slow the growth of overall health care costs (including prescription drugs), and make it possible for providers to deliver the very best care to patients.


Lower out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles. The average deductible for employer-sponsored health plans rose from $1,240 in 2002 to about $2,500 in 2013. American families are being squeezed by rising out-of-pocket health care costs. Hillary believes that workers should share in slower growth of national health care spending through lower costs.


Reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Prescription drug spending accelerated from 2.5 percent in 2013 to 12.6 percent in 2014. It’s no wonder that almost three-quarters of Americans believe prescription drug costs are unreasonable. Hillary believes we need to demand lower drug costs for hardworking families and seniors.


Transform our health care system to reward value and quality. Hillary is committed to building on delivery system reforms in the Affordable Care Act that improve value and quality care for Americans.


Hillary will also work to expand access to rural Americans, who often have difficulty finding quality, affordable health care. She will explore cost-effective ways to broaden the scope of health care providers eligible for telehealth reimbursement under Medicare and other programs, including federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics. She will also call for states to support efforts to streamline licensing for telemedicine and examine ways to expand the types of services that qualify for reimbursement.


Hillary is continuing a lifelong fight to ensure women have access to reproductive health care. As senator, she championed access to emergency contraception and voted in favor of strengthening a woman’s right to make her own health decisions. As president, she will continue defending Planned Parenthood, which provides critical health services including breast exams and cancer screenings to 2.7 million women a year.




Hillary Clinton just backed healthcare for immigrants in the U.S. illegally

First of all, I want to make sure every child gets healthcare … and I want to support states that are expanding healthcare and including undocumented children and others,” Clinton said. “I want to open up the opportunity for immigrants to be able to buy into the exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.”


The estimated 11 million people who are in the country illegally are barred from signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act and make up a growing proportion of those who remain uninsured…




Does Hillary Clinton Have The Prescription For Out-Of-Pocket Health Costs?

While the Republicans running for president are united in their desire to repeal the federal health law, Democrat Hillary Clinton is fashioning her own health care agenda to tackle out-of-pocket costs.


But would her proposals solve the problem?


In addition to defending the Affordable Care Act this week, Clinton released two separate proposals. One would seek to protect people with insurance from having to pay thousands of dollars in addition to their premiums for prescription drugs; the other would set overall limits on out-of-pocket health spending for those with insurance.


“When Americans get sick, high costs shouldn’t prevent them from getting better,” said Clinton in a statement provided by the campaign. “My plan would take a number of steps to ease the burden of medical expenses and protect health care consumers.”…


But setting specific limits for those who are sick will simply drive up premiums for everyone, says the insurance industry. “When you look at mandating additional benefits, that has a huge impact on the cost of coverage,” said Clare Krusing, a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry trade group.


And even if that is a trade-off the public — and policymakers — decide they are willing to make, there is a phalanx of lobbyists in Washington bent on making sure many of these changes never happen.


For example, John Castellani, head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said Clinton’s drug proposal “would restrict patients’ access to medicines, result in fewer new treatments for patients, cost countless jobs across the country and could end our nation’s standing as the world leader in biomedical innovation.”


Meanwhile, Clinton’s proposed limit on advertising to consumers for prescription drugs has drawn the ire of the advertising industry. The Association of National Advertisers in a statement called the proposal “wrong and misguided.”


Even the insurance industry, which has been relentlessly campaigning against high drug prices, has come out against Clinton’s plan. Marilyn Tavenner, AHIP president and CEO, said in a statement that “proposals that would impose arbitrary caps on insurance coverage or force government negotiation on prescription drug prices will only add to the cost pressures facing individuals and families across the country.”




Hillary Clinton’s Health Care Proposals, Focused on Cost, Go Well Beyond Obama’s

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton, as she offered up a sheaf of new health care proposals, said she was “building on the Affordable Care Act.” But lurking in those proposals was a veiled criticism of President Obama’s signature domestic achievement: For many families, the Affordable Care Act has not made health care affordable…


“Health care is one of highest-ranking issues she hears about over and over,” said Chris Jennings, an informal adviser to Mrs. Clinton who worked on health issues in the Clinton White House.


Mrs. Clinton’s recent comments surprised and irked Obama administration officials. A White House spokeswoman said that, to her knowledge, the Clinton campaign had not consulted the administration.


The White House press office issued a statement describing the tax on high-cost health plans — the so-called Cadillac tax — as “a key part” of Mr. Obama’s health care law. Repealing it “would hurt our economy by increasing the deficit, raising health care cost growth and cutting workers’ paychecks,” the White House said. It would also blow an $87 billion hole in the government’s revenue stream over eight years, according to the Congressional Budget Office…


The White House pointed out that one of Mrs. Clinton’s proposals — to let Medicare negotiate prices for high-cost drugs and biotech medicines — was in Mr. Obama’s budget in February.


Again, Mrs. Clinton would go further. She would limit consumers’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs to $250 a month, or $3,000 a year. She would eliminate tax breaks for drug advertising aimed at consumers. And she would put pressure on pharmaceutical companies to spend more of their revenue on research and development.


She is also proposing measures to protect consumers against “surprise medical bills.” Health plans often have networks of preferred doctors and hospitals. Even when patients use one of the preferred hospitals, they sometimes receive tens of thousands of dollars in unexpected bills from anesthesiologists, surgeons and other doctors who were not in the network.


Under her proposal, Mrs. Clinton said, consumers would not have to pay those extra charges for care at hospitals in their health plan’s network.



Bernie SandersBernie Sanders: Y

Bernie Sanders on Healthcare

Bernie believes that the challenges facing the American healthcare system need to be addressed immediately—they are a matter of life and death. He has always believed that healthcare is a human right and should be guaranteed to all Americans regardless of wealth or income. He prizes the health and wellness of individuals over corporate profits. Additionally, he supports future legislation to curb drug costs and tackle fraud in the industry. Altogether, universal healthcare serves as a strong foundation for his policy goals.


Affordable Care Act (Obamacare): Obamacare was a small victory for the uninsured, but it is time to take the fight against inadequate coverage even further.


Medicaid: Until comprehensive universal healthcare is passed, we must expand and improve the Medicaid program.


Medicare: We must expand “Medicare for All” by creating a single-payer health-care system for every American.


Universal Healthcare: Many countries have proven that a single-payer system can work—it’s time for the U.S. to join that list.


Mental Health: We must make sure that mental health services are available to all Americans regardless of income.


Prescription Drugs & Drug Manufacturers: We can promote innovation by controlling drug costs and tackling fraud.


Nutrition: In our land of plenty, everyone has the right to access to food and education on nutrition regardless of income or mobility.




Sanders calls for single-payer healthcare

One of the reasons that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is surging in the polls and beginning to receive the national press attention he deserves is that he has brought ideas of substance to the campaign. As CNN has recently reported, the latest Sanders initiative is that he is pushing a Medicare-for-all healthcare program, similar to programs in most developed democratic nations (often referred to as “single payer”).


It is fitting — and right — that while progressives celebrate the Supreme Court decision upholding ObamaCare, Sanders believes that is not nearly enough. He is absolutely right. While ObamaCare improved healthcare for millions of Americans, a Medicare-for-all program would improve healthcare for tens of millions, perhaps even hundreds of millions, of Americans.


Many in the media and politics forget that, when healthcare was before Congress, a large majority of voters supported the public option in polls. Much of the public concern about ObamaCare was not that it went too far, but that it did not go far enough. Sanders wants to go further. There is polling from earlier this year that found that a majority of voters supports single-payer healthcare, which puts Sanders on very solid ground politically…




Senator Bernie Sanders, Free Health Care Is A Spectacularly Bad Idea

RAND researchers used sophisticated methods to determine that the average person in a cost-sharing plan would be willing to pay only $127 a year in insurance premiums in order to get rid of the out-of-pocket risk posed by the plan shown in my chart. Spending $1,347 of society’s resources to eliminate a $127 risk is pretty ludicrous.


This is why it astonishes me to see people like Bernie Sanders advocate for Canadian-style single payer free health care. Senator Sanders calls his plan “Medicare-for-All” but that’s a misnomer since Medicare contains a non-trivial amount of cost-sharing (in that regard, plain vanilla Medicare–without supplemental coverage–is much closer to the cost-sharing plan on my chart than it is to free care). If you look at the details of his plan, there is no provision for cost-sharing for any of the comprehensive benefits provided (moreover, balance billing by participating providers likewise is prohibited, so clinicians essentially have to accept whatever amount the government decides to pay as payment in full).


In short, “free” health care for all Americans is a spectacularly bad idea . Senator Sanders’ proposal for comprehensive free care for all Americans would take us precisely in the opposite of the direction needed for the U.S. to maintain a world-class health care system.