What's at stake:
Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act (aka"Obamacare") have been hot topics for the past few election cycles. The ACA was signed into law in 2010, giving millions of Americans access to healthcare they otherwise couldn't afford. With the ACA Marketplace, users are able to compare prices and details of different insurance plans. The program has been very successful, though not without its difficulties.
The rising prices of traditional health insurance options offered by many employers, who are locked into the plans by corporate partnerships, leave many people unable to afford coverage. The ACA has gained affordable access for more than fifteen million people since its beginning, with the majority of plans costing less than $100 per month per person.
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Here's what we know about where each candidate stands on health insurance:
Hillary Clinton has been a supporter of the ACA since its inception and has fought for affordable healthcare for all for decades. If elected, she will expand the program to cover more people and offer lower-cost options. To fund this plan, she will tax the super rich.
She is a proud ally of Planned Parenthood, which provides free preventative care for hundreds of thousands of women each year. She has stated that she will fight to uphold Roe vs Wade.
Donald Trump does not support the ACA and will "will broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans" by dismantling the plan. Currently, health insurance is sold state-by-state, which means that rates vary based on location and that a company must be licensed to sell in each state and meet different criteria for each. Trump would like to make a nationwide marketplace for health insurance.
He would like to create a bill allowing Americans to deduct their insurance payment premiums and contribute to individual Health Savings Accounts that never expire.
Like Clinton, he is in favor of expanding mental health services for all Americans. Additionally, both candidates are in favor applying a cap to medication price inflation.
The bottom line?
Health insurance costs are a huge mystery. Companies routinely pay members of Congress to lobby on their behalf, spending billions to persuade the laws to work in their favor. Any type of work previous administrations have done to create transparency in pricing has been met with huge opposition by Congress...and the special interest groups who pay them. There is no clear cut solution and each candidate's plan has its merits. The best plan will be one that creates lower cost options for everyone.
Almost 90% of Congress is up for re-election this year. To really, truly enact change you must vote on a local level. No president can pass a bill without approval from the House and Senate. Take a look at where your representatives stand on the issues here.