The Party Platforms. Healthcare

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This is the the third in my installments on the Presidential Party Platforms. I’m reviewing and comparing the Democrat and Republican Party Platforms.  

I think it’s worth repeating that the Republicans decided to adopt the 2016 Party Platform. On the opening day of the 2020 convention, Republicans announced that they do not have a platform, but will follow Presidents Trump’s direction. Okay, now what? Lacking specifics, I’ll follow my original plan and compare the 2016 Republican Platform with the 2020 Democratic Platform.

The Democratic Party has about 8 pages on health care. The Republican Party has about three pages addressing healthcare.

Just so I can keep everything straight, I put the information into a simple table, like I would for corporate goals. Pretty easy to understand; I think:  We will______________ by_____________ so that______________ happens.  The last column is the page number for your reference.

Note: The day I began researching for this post, President Trump’s campaign announced a 2nd Term Agenda. The goals are many, but only the first part (We will) is addressed. How the goal will be accomplished (the “by”) is missing. Why he wants to accomplish the goal (the “so that”) is also not included. You can find the Agenda by clicking here.

So here’s the Democrats’ Plan for achieving universal, affordable, quality healthcare:

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We willBySo thatPage
Protect, strengthen, and build upon our bedrock health care programs (Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid,Veterans Affairs (VA) system)Give all Americans the choice to select a high-quality,
affordable public option through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.
 Private insurers have competition and incentive to provide affordable, quality coverage to every American.25
Help close the persistent racial gap in insurance ratesExpand funding for Affordable Care Act outreach and enrollment programsEvery American knows their options for securing quality, affordable coverage.26
Provide health care to lowest-income Americans Automatically enroll Medicaid eligible adults without premiums, with the option to opt out at any timeEveryone has the health care system the American people have always deserved26
Remove barriers to states that seek to experiment with statewide universal health care approaches. Empowering the states, as laboratories of democracy, to use Affordable Care
Act innovation waivers 
Everyone has the health care system the American people have always deserved26
Increase support for dental care, mental health care, and substance use services like medication-assisted treatment, and substance use servicesDoubling investments in community health centers and rural health clinicsRural health clinics keep their doors open26 
Bring down the cost of prescription drugsEmpowering Medicare to at last be able to negotiate prescription drug prices for all public and private purchasers

Preventing the price of brand-name and outlier generic drugs from rising faster than the inflation rate

Americans do not pay more for prescription drugs than people in other advanced economies26
Ensure that effective treatments for chronic health conditions are available at little or no cost. Capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniorsAmericans do not pay more for prescription drugs than people in other advanced economies27 
Take on Pharmaceutical CompaniesCracking down on anti-competitive efforts to manipulate the patent system or collude on prices.
Eliminating tax breaks for prescription drug advertisements.
Americans do not pay more for prescription drugs than people in other advanced economies27
Make it easier for working families to afford high-quality insurance Ensuring no one pays more than 8.5% of their income in premiums and eliminating the cap on subsidies.Reduce Healthcare costs27 
Increase price transparency in the health care system Outlawing the practice of surprise medical billing

using antitrust laws to fight against mega-mergers in the hospital, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries
Reduce Healthcare costs  27
Expand and protect MedicareFighting efforts to cut Medicare benefits

Finding financially sustainable policies to
expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing.
Prevent severe health consequences for Medicare patient27
Increase the number of primary care practitioners, registered nurses, dentists, and dental therapists, especially in rural and low-income metropolitan areasSupporting policiesIt’s easier to access preventive and primary health care27
Expand access to mental health and substance use treatmentEnforcing the federal
mental health and substance use disorder parity law

Ensuring that health insurers cover mental health and substance use treatment
American who needs it should be able to access mental health care or substance use disorder treatment, no matter where they live27
Expanding funding for health clinics, especially in rural areas, and increasing access to these services through Medicaid.Investing in training and hiring more mental health providers, substance use disorder counselors, and peer support counselorsAmerican who needs it should be able to access mental health care or substance use disorder treatment, no matter where they live27
Fight the opioid epidemicMaking medication-assisted treatment available to all who need it, and requiring publicly supported health clinics to offer medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction and approved treatments for other substance use disordersAmerican who needs it should be able to access mental health care or substance use disorder treatment, no matter where they live 28
Eliminate waiting lists for home and community-based care and the institutional bias within MedicaidMaking investments in building the capacity of the Medicaid system to provide home and community-based services. Long-term care services and support are expanded 28
Help Americans pay for long-term careCreating a tax credit for informal and family caregivers and increasing the Child and Dependent Care Tax CreditLong-term care services and support are expanded 28
Improve nursing home staffing and quality standards, strengthen accreditation processes,
Combat corporate abuses in
nursing homes
Enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act and fulfilling the promise of the Olmstead v. L.C. decision Institutional segregation of people with disabilities is eliminated28 
Eliminate gaps in insurance rates, access to quality care, and health outcomesLaunching a sustained, government-wide effort tackling the social, economic, and environmental inequities

Ensuring federal data collection and analysis is adequately funded
We eliminate racial, gender, and geographic health inequities 29
Afford access to health care for people living and working across the United StatesExpanding the ACA to Dreamers

Lift the five-year waiting period for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program eligibility for low-income, lawfully present immigrants.
We eliminate racial, gender, and geographic health inequities 29
End the HIV/AIDS epidemicSupporting investments
under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and the Minority HIV/AIDS Fund
We eliminate racial, gender, and geographic health inequities 29
 Pursue environmental justice and climate justice, including for Indigenous
peoples and communities
Investing in clean water and
 wastewater infrastructure, clean energy generation and distribution, and sustainable and regenerative agriculture
We protect Native American health29
Honor the United States’ trust obligation to Native American communitiesMaking mandatory and working toward full funding for the Indian Health Service We protect Native American health29
Provide vital preventive and reproductive health care for millions of womenRestoring federal funding for Planned Parenthood

Fighting to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to women’s reproductive health and right

Repealing the Hyde Amendment

protecting and codifying Roe v. Wade.
We secure reproductive health, rights, and justice29
Save mothers’ livesExpanding postpartum
Medicaid coverage to a full year after giving birth, investing in rural maternal health, promoting a diverse perinatal workforce, and implementing implicit bias training for health professionals.
We protect and promote maternal health30
Address every dimension of the Black maternal health
supporting policies and approaches that will at least halve our nation’s unacceptably high maternal
mortality rate.
We protect and promote maternal health30
Restore nondiscrimination protections for
LGBTQ+ people in health insurance
Reversing regulations that allow doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies to discriminate against patients based on their sexual orientation or gender identity

Requiring that federal health plans provide coverage for HIV/AIDS treatment and HIV prevention medications like PrEP and PEP, gender confirmation surgery, and hormone therapy
We protect LGBTQ+ health30
Ensure healthcare workers have a family-sustained wage, good benefits, access to training and professional development, and the ability to join a union and collectively bargain.Requiring all employers funded by taxpayer dollars to pay their workers at least $15/hour and protect workers’ rights to organizeWe strengthen and support the health care workforce31
Invest in Health Science and ResearchIncreasing funding for health and medical research and federal grants across agencies

Increasing the federal investment in
research and development for new medications
We are at the forefront of scientific research and discover for the benefit of our people, our economy, and our global competitiveness31
Break down silos and accelerate research into
cancer and cancer treatments
Creating an agency with the sole mission of finding new cures and treatments for cancer and other diseases.We are at the forefront of scientific research and discover for the benefit of our people, our economy, and our global competitiveness31
Protect the independence and intellectual freedom of scientists

Shield our scientific
research agencies from future political interference.
???We restore the pace of scientific inquiry and America’s standing in the world.31

Whew! That was a lot of work.  Next up….

The Republicans’ plan for healthcare:

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We willBySo thatPage number
Restore patient control and preserve quality in health care.Repealing ACA;  
Reducing mandates and increasing healthcare options;
Proposing a block grant for Medicaid;
Returning regulation to the states;
We contain costs and increase options.36
Restore patient control and preserve quality in health care.Promoting price transparencyPatients know the cost of treatments before they agree to them.36 
Restore patient control and preserve quality in health care.Repealing the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson ActWe no longer protect  insurance companies from anti-trust litigation.37
Give our aging population access to safe and affordable care.  Making homeware a priority in public policy;  
Implementing programs to protect against elder abuse.
Seniors can age at home. 37
Protect individual conscience in healthcare.Urging enactment of legislation that requires parental consent for their daughter to be transported across stage lines for abortion;  

Codifying the Hyde Amendment;

Calling for a permanent ban on federal funding and subsidies for abortion and healthcare plans that include abortion coverage.  
Healthcare professionals are not forced to choose between following their faith and practicing their profession.37
Support tort reform.Supporting state and federal legislation to cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.We address a serious cause of higher medical bills.37
Advance research and development in healthcare. Expanding support for the stem cell research through adult stem cells, umbilical cord blood, and cells reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells;
Banning human cloning for research or reproduction;

Banning the creation of, or experimentation on, human embryos for research;

Applauding the ban on FDA approval of research involving three-parent embryos;

Cutting federal and state funding for entities that endanger women’s health by performing abortions in a manner inconsistent with federal or state laws.
We continue to marry significant investment, both public and private, with the world’s best talent. 37
Reform the FDA.Urging Congress to pass federal legislation to give all Americans with terminal illnesses the right to try investigational medicines not yet approved by the FDA.We restore the FDA to a premier scientific health agency, focused on promoting and protection the public health and ensuring americans live longer, healthier lives;
The United States remains the world leader in life sciences and medical innovation;

Millions of high-paying, cutting-edge device and drug jobs stay in the US.
US patients benefit first and most from new devices and drugs;

The FDA no longer wastes US taxpayer and innovators’ resources through bureaucratic red tape and legal uncertainty.
Advance Americans with disabilitiesIncluding the disabled in the Small Business Administran’s 8(a) certification program, which opens up federal contracting for emerging businesses;  

Restructuring the tax code to consider ways companies can benefit from the talent and energy of disabled employees.
The disabled have access to education and the tools necessary to compete in the mainstream of society.38
Advance Americans with disabilities.Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act;Students with disabilities have increased access to the general curriculum.38
Advance Americans with disabilities.Modernizing the Fair Labor Standards Act with the Transition to Integrated and Meaningful Employment Act;  

Mininmizing the separation of children with disabilities from their peers;
Endorsing efforts like Employment First;  
We encourage competitive employment for the disabled.  

We replace dependency with jobs in the mainstream of the American workforce.
Advance Americans with disabilities.Urging DEA to restore its ban on the use of controlled substances for physician-assisted suicide;  

Opposing the non-consensual withholding of care or treatment from people with disabilities, including newborns, the elderly, and infirm;

Opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide; We protect those on the margins of society.
We protect those on the margins of society.39


There’s one nice thing about the Republican Party adopting the 2016 platform. We can also check to see what progress has been made in the past almost 4 years. If you want to do that in a concrete way, please visit and use the search bar.

I gotta say, that really helped me get a feel for what each party hopes to achieve and why.  There’s a real difference in the way each party wants to approach healthcare. No wonder it’s so hard to get things done in Washington.

It’s not easy to compare the two Platforms. They don’t use the same style or organization.  But, I’m determined to give it my best shot.

What do you think?  Was this enlightening? Or just sort of boring?

Next up: Criminal Justice.

Now that should be interesting. Are you with me?

If you missed my prior Party Plank reviews, here are the links:

Party Platform 2020: The economy

Party Platform 2020: The pandemic