Healthcare definitely holds a special place in all the debates for the 2020 election campaigns. As we know, Democrats have been actively advocating the cause of Health Care and Medicare for All. Sen. Michael Bennet from Colorado proposed Medicare-X, which would focus on making healthcare more affordable under the Affordable Care Act. Earlier, Trump had promised to initiate a GOP health-coverage plan for all. He promised that this plan would be considerably less expensive than Obamacare. Amidst all speculations, everyone seems to be looking for a comprehensive and inexpensive healthcare program.
Health care helped catapult Democrats to victory in a wave of elections in 2018, and it is a vital issue for voters heading into 2020. But the background has changed in two years. In the last midterms, health care debates were centered around shielding the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, after GOP attempted to repeal it. This year presidential candidates are focusing more on fixing the entire health care system.
Incorporating a public option, where the government offers a form of insurance coverage the public can purchase, was once a relatively progressive position within the party. Now, it has become a relatively moderate position compared to the push for single-payer, government-run health insurance.
That discussion has given rise to multiple policy questions, such as what private role insurance should play. Besides, candidates have been debating other ways to lower costs, specifically in the area of prescription drugs. Here are where the current Democratic candidates stand across five health care policy areas.
Currently, about 50 percent of Americans get health insurance through commercial insurance plans from their employers. Around 15 million or so purchase individual private insurance on Obamacare’s marketplaces. 70 million people from the lower-income group are enrolled in Medicaid, and another 45 million elderly people have Medicare. This means almost 27 million Americans are uninsured.
The significant difference between the Democratic health care plans is on this question: Who will pay for health care?
Bernie Sanders’ single-payer Medicare-for-all plan, would enroll every American citizen in one government insurance program. The plan forcibly prohibits most private health insurance, substituting it with a national insurance plan.
Most other Democrats, including Biden, and Buttigieg are comfortable leaving the current multi-payer insurance scheme in place and instead plan on creating a new government option that would compete with private insurance and act as a backup to ensure everybody has coverage. Biden said his plan should cover 97 percent of Americans, so by their own estimates, they would get very close to that goal.
Warren splits the difference: She says she eventually wishes to pass single-payer, but in the meantime, would create a public option anybody can join as part of a transition plan and would provide free coverage to lower-income people and kids. She believes a lot of people — over 130 million — could enroll in the public plan in short order as they would be able to get coverage absolutely free.