COMPILED OCTOBER 2019
(CBS) – Few campaign issues touch every American as personally as health care. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act a few years ago, to the battle to repeal or replace the massive health care overhaul, this topic is front and center for nearly every candidate in the 2020 presidential race. Here is a look at where they stand.
Michael Bennet (D)
• Bennet introduced his Medicare-X plan, which would create a public health care plan in areas where health care options are limited or costs are too high. It would then be expanded nationwide by 2023.
• It would be a public option administered by Medicare, using Medicare payment rates and networks.
• Money for it would not come from the Medicare trust fund; it would instead be funded through premiums.
• The Bennet legislation would also expand subsidies and tax credits for people purchasing health insurance on the exchange and spend $30 billion over three years on reinsurance, which are payments to insurers to keep costs low.
Joe Biden (D)
Former Vice President
• Biden’s plan would build on the most popular parts of Obamacare and create a new, government-run option that would be available to anyone.
• People who are currently not eligible for Medicaid or private insurance would be automatically enrolled in the new public option.
• The public option insurance would cover contraception and abortions.
• Biden wants to provide more tax credits for people who are buying private insurance by sharply increasing the income limits
Cory Booker (D)
New Jersey Senator
• Booker’s plan includes fighting for access to quality, affordable and universal health care, ending attacks on the Affordable Care Act, and acting to bring down prescription drug costs.
• Will fight for Medicare for All.
• Implement universal paid family and medical leave.
• Lower prescription drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices and import drugs from other countries.
• Impose a tax penalty on drug companies that unfairly raise the cost of their drugs.
Steve Bullock (D)
Governor of Montana
• Bullock wants to increase access to quality healthcare and ensure competition by providing a public option.
• Encourage all states to expand Medicaid.
• Allow government to negotiate drug prices.
• Fight mergers of large insurance companies, and end out-of-network charges.
• Improve care options in rural and underserved communities.
• Strengthen Medicare by negotiating and capping drug costs.
Pete Buttigeig (D)
Mayor of South Bend, Indiana
• Buttigeig says there should be a Medicare option on the public exchange, but does not support eliminating private insurance.
• He believes “Medicare for All Who Want It” would evolve into Medicare for All.
Julian Castro (D)
Former Housing Secretary
• Castro has not unveiled a specific healthcare plan.
• He endorses a Medicare for All system, paid for by raising taxes on corporations and on the wealthiest “0.05, 0.5 or 1 percent” of Americans, according to PBS.
John Delaney (D)
Former Maryland Congressman
• Delaney’s plan would have every American under 65 automatically enrolled in a new public plan that covers basic medical services, and uses the Medicare network.
• Health care would no longer be tied to your job.
• You could opt out for private insurance or buy private insurance to cover things not covered by the Universal plan.
• $5 trillion plan would be paid for in part by eliminating Affordable Care Act subsidies and taking away the corporate deductibility of healthcare.
Tulsi Gabbard (D)
• Gabbard supports Medicare for All.
• Doesn’t want to eliminate private insurance, but wants to re-evaluate its role in the system.
Kamala Harris (D)
• Proposed Kamala Care in July.
• Her plan would allow everyone to enroll in Medicare and would increase some benefits under the public option.
• Private insurers would be allowed to stay in the business, giving consumers a choice between a private plan or the public option.
• Newborns and the uninsured would be automatically enrolled in the Medicare system.
• She has not outlined how to pay for this
Wayne Messam (D)
Mayor of Miramar, Florida
• Messam wants healthcare to be a ‘fundamental right – not a privilege.’
• Says healthcare system needs to be reformed from the top down, to drive down costs.
• Favors government negotiating prescription prices for seniors.
Beto O’Rourke (D)
Former Texas Congressman
• O’Rourke initially supported Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All plan, but has backed away from that.
• Has embraced a bill in Congress that would open up Medicare to all adults and children, and automatically enroll newborns, the elderly and the uninsured.
• The bill would ban insurances companies from selling policies that duplicate the government’s coverage.
• Businesses would be able to offer private insurance as a benefit.
Tim Ryan (D)
• Ryan supports the Affordable Care Act and patent bill of rights.
• Supports continued funding for research and trials at National Institute of Health
• Proposed bill to create and fund integrated nutrition and physical activity curriculum for medical schools.
Bernie Sanders (D)
• Sanders wrote the Medicare for All bill.
• He wants to eliminate private insurance .
• Wants to establish a single source of health-care coverage for prescriptions, medical, vision, dental and mental health care.
Joe Sestak (D)
Former Pennsylvania Congressman
• Sestak wants to restore the Affordable Care Act and advance it with a public option to expand access to health insurance.
• Wants to allow Medicare to bargain for the best drug prices directly with the pharmaceutical industry. Also wants to permit re-importation of less expensive drugs form Canada.
• Seeks to redistribute the $13 billion America’s teaching hospitals receive in federal subsidies toward more primary care residencies.
• Wants to cut out the middle man of private insurance providers
Tom Steyer (D)
Hedge Fund Manager
• Steyer has not rolled out a full health care proposal yet.
• In 2017 said he is in favor of a single-payer health care model similar to the type Senator Bernie Sanders proposed.
• In 2017, supported a California bill that requires pharmaceutical companies to alert patients of drug price increases.
• Opposes Medicare for all, but wants to expand coverage.
Donald Trump (R)
President of the United States
• President Trump supports the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
• Says his administration will announce a new health care proposal in the coming months.
• Has expanded health care choices for small businesses through the use of Healthcare Reimbursement Arrangements.
Joe Walsh (R)
Former Illinois Congressman
• Walsh is staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act; seeks to repeal it in favor of a free market program.
• While in Congress, supported bills that sought to either completely repeal or strip ACA of key components.
Elizabeth Warren (D)
• Warren supports Medicare for All and abolishing the private insurance system.
• She wants to pay for the system by taxing the wealthy – 2% on anyone worth more than $50 million, 3% on anyone worth more than $1 billion.
• Limit insurance premiums to no more than 8.5 percent of income.
• Cap out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for those on private plans at $250 a month, or $500 per family
• Wants to set limits on insurance company profits to match what those private insurers can earn from Medicare and Medicaid.
William Weld (R)
Former Massachusetts Governor
• Weld expanded Medicaid while he was governor of Massachusetts, asked federal government to boost Medicaid funding for his state.
• Supports increased Medicaid access.
• Wants Congress to stop debating the repeal of the Affordable Care Act in favor of other smaller health care reforms.
Marianne Williamson (D)
• Williamson wants to reshape how we look at health care in the U.S.
• Provide patients with more robust ongoing support from nutritionists, health coaches, therapists and mental health, exercise specialists, and other peripheral lifestyle treatment providers.
• Take a national look at stress levels, and develop ways to lower stress societally.
• Encourage communities to provide more opportunities for physical activity.
• The Center for Disease Control should invest more research into preventing disease, rather than treating symptoms.
• Take all mental health issues as seriously as physical issues, and reduce the stigma of mental health illnesses.
• Treat drug addiction as a mental health issue, and not as illegal activity.
Andrew Yang (D)
Former Tech Executive
• Through a Medicare for All system, Yang wants to ensure that all Americans receive health care.
• Control costs by setting prices provided for medical services.
• Focus on holistic health care.