At times, it feels like politics has nothing and everything to do with our everyday life. Elections, officials, and government drama can feel far away from the day-to-day realities of paying bills, dealing with taxes, and handling health care needs.
But of course, as we all know, elections and officials actually have everything to do with how our normal, routine lives are governed. Different leaders in office and new laws and policies being implemented or enforced can have a major impact on the way we live each day. And the 2020 election is no exception. How will this world-changing election affect the world of health care?
Below, we’ve put together a deep dive into some of the things we are expecting in the health care world as a result of the upcoming election. Could the 2020 election actually lower prescription drug costs? It’s possible. Read on to learn more--and to be ready for how your life may change once an American president takes the oath, either for another term or for the first time.
Who is running for president in the 2020 election? Here are the candidates
As of October 29, 2019, there are numerous candidates for the 2020 election in the two major political parties of the United States, incumbent President Donald Trump included. Other Republican candidates include Mark Sanford, Joe Walsh, and Bill Weld, while around 18 Democrats are in the races.
Names you may see in the running on the Democrat side of the aisle include Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Steve Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Wayne Messam, Beto O'Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Joe Sestak, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang.
While it’s still early in the election cycle, it’s never too early to begin predicting what voters may expect to see as the races close in.
Wondering where they all stand on health care? This article by CBS Boston, titled Where They Stand: 2020 Presidential Candidate Views On Health Care, breaks down their views one by one. You can also check out Where They Stand, Prescription Drug Costs for more. Their positions are vast, differing, and nuanced, but it’s important to be informed about each of their takes on health care because if elected, these views may directly affect you and your loved ones.
Where do the candidates stand? Ways that the 2020 election may affect health care
Healthcare in America may change depending on who is elected to become president in 2020 (or whether the current president remains in office). Each of the candidates has a differing view on what the ideal system would be to benefit all Americans.
For example, if former tech executive Andrew Yang (D) is elected, he’s looking to ensure that all Americans receive health care through a Medicare for All system. He also wants to focus on holistic health care and work to control costs by establishing set prices provided for medical services.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (D), on the other hand, wants to abolish the private insurance system and pay for the Medicare for All system by taxing the wealthy. The tax would be 2% on anyone worth more than $50 million and 3% on anyone worth more than $1 billion.
And, alternatively, President Donald Trump has said that his administration will propose a new health care system altogether sometime in the coming months. Incumbent President Donald Trump is known to oppose the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, as well as the individual mandate requiring every American to purchase health insurance. California Senator Kamala Harris (D) has already proposed her own plan of care, called Kamala Care, but has not outlined how this system would be paid for yet.
So, depending on who is elected to the Oval Office, the 2020 election may have major or minor ramifications in the world of health care. Things could change drastically or very little. But one goal is for sure: Americans across the board would like to pay less out of pocket for their health care while still receiving quality care that will keep them healthy and well. And their vote may have the power to make that happen. Health care is an issue that affects each American personally and individually, so it makes sense to pay attention and be informed about where each of the candidates stand.
What matters to voters in 2020?
The presidential candidates would do well to pay attention to the voters’ interests and discuss during the debates what the voters want to hear about. But what matters to voters in 2020?
An article in the Washington Post states, “A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released today found majorities of such voters feel the candidates have spent too little time talking about health-care costs, surprise medical bills and reproductive health — and enough, or even too much, time discussing Medicare-for-all.
Among the poll’s findings:
* 58% of Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters said the candidates are spending too little time discussing women’s health care
* 52% said they’re spending too little time on surprise medical bills
* 50% said they’re spending too little time on how to lower the cost of health care
* 47% said they’re spending too little time on the cost of prescription drugs.
… Discussions of Medicare-for-all and the public option are interesting and important, because they get at how to expand health coverage to the remaining 27 million Americans without it (although about half of them are already eligible for Medicaid or government subsidies to buy private plans).
But the polling reflects the ongoing struggle in the United States to make health insurance and prescription drugs affordable, problems Congress has said it wants to tackle this year. Both employer-sponsored plans, which cover 160 million Americans, and those available in the state-based marketplaces have suffered from rising premiums and increasingly steep deductibles.”
The main problems faced by the average American right now are the rising cost of health insurance premiums and the increasingly larger deductibles that aren’t covered under those premiums. These are the everyday costs that matter to Americans as they try to go about their daily life, visit the doctor, and take care of their health care needs.
It seems that what matters to voters right now is hearing about what the presidential candidates plan to do to lower health care costs, especially the cost of prescription drugs, women’s health care, and everyday medical bills such as monthly premiums and deductibles. What voters care less about at the moment is more talk on Medicare for all and surprise medical bills.
Talk of expanding health care coverage to all is important, but the candidates should spend more time on mitigating high costs for the millions of Americans who are already covered by a health care plan. Still, it’s important to remember that “Census figures this week showed 2 million more people were uninsured in 2018 despite a strong economy, the first annual increase in the uninsurance rate since the financial collapse nearly a decade ago and before Obamacare began,” according to Politico.
Clearly, health care is as important as ever when it comes to political discussions and candidate qualifications. Candidates should keep it top of mind as the voters tune into the debates and decide how to vote in the polls. These issues matter to the American public because it is something that directly affects them every day. Creating workable solutions to give Americans access to affordable, quality health care is something the entire country is invested in doing.
Hot button topics like opioids, cancer, and the teen vaping epidemic
A lot of hot-button topics are discussed on stage, but what health care topics are truly trending and necessary to discuss?
An article in Politico states, “Trump promised in this year's State of the Union address to wipe out HIV transmission in the United States in a decade. At campaign rallies since then, he’s promised to lower drug costs, end the opioid epidemic, and even cure childhood cancer. He’s rolled out a plan to overhaul kidney care for hundreds of thousands of Americans on dialysis and waiting for life-saving transplants. And now he’s taking on the rapidly worsening epidemic of youth vaping.”
With the surge in controversy surrounding youth vaping, it’s a good move for Trump to bring this discussion to the forefront. What can be done about the teen vaping epidemic? What will the candidates roll out to put a stop to this dangerous activity? Will the companies responsible be punished, and how will this affect health care coverage and costs for the millions of Americans affected by vaping, and even those not affected? All of these questions are swirling in the minds of voters, and they want answers.
Still, the Republican party should be aware that discussing health care may not be helping their cause. Politico continues, “According to Kaiser’s polls, 50 percent of swing voters said that health care makes them more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate in 2020 compared with just 32 percent who said they were more likely to support Trump.”
All of these facts and figures are important for the candidates to consider as they make their bids for the 2020 election. While health care is an important topic, the conservative stance on it may actually be pushing voters toward the other side. It’s important for the presidential candidates to recognize and remember that they are elected officials acting on behalf of the American people. Thus, it’s essential that they focus on the issues that matter to voters--and not just talking about them, but actually taking tangible action to further the interests of the voters who put them in office.
Could the 2020 election lower prescription drug costs?
There’s never a time that the interests of political candidates and the voters who have the power to put them in office--or not--are more aligned than during election season. Voters want what the presidential candidates have--the power to enact change that makes life better for average citizens. And the presidential candidates want what the voters have--the power to put them in office.
So, these interests can work for a mutually beneficial purpose: the candidates getting busy and putting policies in place that are favored by the American people or truly making any welcome changes that the voters are requesting. This can work to the benefit of the American people, because everybody wants a popularity boost during election season, and Americans have more power than ever to get what they want.
For example, CNBC reports: “Congress is likely to pass a ‘middle-of-the-road’ drug pricing reform package by the end of the year as both President Donald Trump and Democrats seek a policy ‘win’ heading into the 2020 presidential election, according to RBC Capital Markets. … Health care consistently ranks as a top issue for voters. … The president’s plan that would allow the U.S. to legally import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada is also worth watching, though its chances of getting implemented are low.”
Granting Americans better ways to access lower prescription drug prices from other countries, such as Canada, is a major way that voters may benefit. It’s an easy solution to many high-drug-price woes, which are faced by a vast majority of American health care payers.
In other words, change may be on the horizon when it comes to lowered drug prices, and it’s all thanks to the upcoming 2020 election. Political figures want to implement policies and plans that will be popular among the American people so that they are held in a favorable light as the election looms.
Things look positive for the election cycle, and the American people should demand for the candidates to discuss and act upon the issues that matter most to them, such as health care and lowering prescription drug costs.
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