Health Insurance, a Deciding Factor between Biden and Trump in this Presidential ElectionOctober 19, 2020
Health issues are going to weigh heavily in this presidential election, as voters will vote for the candidate whose healthcare policies impresses them. As far as healthcare issues are concerned, Biden has an advantage over Trump across major health care policy issues.
As per the KFF Health Tracking Poll that was conducted between October 7-12, around half of the voters seem to be in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump. Voters seem to be in favor of Joe Biden’s approach to health care and are concerned about healthcare costs. The new poll shows that the way the pandemic was managed could sway the outcome of this election.
The findings from this monthly tracking poll suggest that voters do not trust their President assurances that in case if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act, he will protect people with preexisting conditions from being penalized by the insurance carriers.
The court in the coming month will hear the plea from the Trump administration and Republican attorneys general regarding the overturning of the health law. According to the poll, 79% of the public is not in favor to cancel coverage protections for Americans with preexisting conditions. A majority of the Republicans are not in the favor of overturning those safeguards.
Overturning the ACA act will not only leave 21 million Americans uninsured but will also allow insurance companies to charge more premium or deny health coverage to individuals having preexisting conditions, which was a common practice before the ACA law was established.
A preexisting or chronic condition like diabetes or cancer is common in a family member in nearly 6 out of 10 families. About half of the people in the U.S. are worried about their relatives who are unable to afford coverage or will lose the health coverage if the law is overturned.
As far as protecting preexisting conditions is concerned, voters have a striking preference for Biden over Trump. A preexisting condition is an issue based on which around 94% of voters will vote in this presidential election. Joe Biden has come out with a 20-point advantage, and around 56% of voters are preferring his approach and 36% are supporting Trump’s approach.
Not only preexisting conditions but on every healthcare issue, voters are showing a preference for Biden. The health issues of seniors, age 65 or older, was an issue that Trump said was his priorities while in office, but voters seem to be not satisfied with his effort to lower the healthcare costs, especially with his effort to lower prescription drug costs. Thus support for Trump has been slipping, as around 50% of voters are preferring Biden’s approach.
Around 55% of the voters prefer the Biden plan for dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, and around 51% of voters Biden’s plan for developing and distributing a COVID-19 vaccine. This is mainly because Trump has mostly left it to state and local officials to manage the COVID-19 outbreak. Earlier Trump had promised that scientists will produce a vaccine before Election Day.
When voters were asked about the most vital issue that will help them decide whom to vote for in the upcoming presidential election, 18% of voters said COVID-19 outbreak, and 12% said overall healthcare. Around 29% of the voters said based on the country’s economic factor.
The KFF health tracking survey was conducted between October 7-12 after the first presidential debate and Trump’s being tested positive for COVID-19. The margin or error is plus, minus 3%.
Biden’s Plans for Healthcare
Biden’s healthcare plan revolves around reinforcing and expanding the Affordable Care Act through a public option and also to improve access to healthcare. The public option plan is available to all Americans either through their employers or by purchasing themselves.
The public option will be offered without any premium to Americans residing in states that do not have Medicaid benefits, which they would have qualified if available in their state. In Biden’s proposal though it is not mentioned but he has said that undocumented immigrants will be able to buy into the public option plan and receive unsubsidized coverage. This option is not currently allowed under the Affordable Care Act.
In terms of lowering the individual health insurance cost, the health plan would ensure that no household is investing more than 8.5% instead of the current 9.86% of their earnings into health insurance plans.
Biden is also in favor of planned parenthood and does not support banning federal funding for abortions. He also wishes to allocate $775 billion toward a health plan for senior care and child. A lot of the funds will be sued to cut Medicaid wait-lists for people who require home and community care and to provide tax breaks to people who care for their older members of their families.
He also calls for the creation of a public health job corps that would give employment to more than 100,000 Americans as healthcare workers in medically under-served communities to work in disease prevention.
Trump’s Plans for Healthcare
Trump’s second term agenda includes lowering the prices of prescription drugs, lower health insurance premiums, providing health coverage to Americans with preexisting conditions.
Trump is not in favor to keep the Affordable Care Act and he has also not come out with its alternative. In the last month during the ABC town hall meeting, he failed to explain his campaign’s proposed alternative besides stating that the current law is too expensive. He also failed to outline a plan in the first presidential debate against Biden.
The Trump along with several Republican-led states at the Supreme Court is arguing that the ACA should now be void, this would end existing protections given to people with preexisting conditions.
Trump through a series of executive orders signed in July and September has attempted to usher prescription drug reforms. Though the timeline to implement these policies remain uncertain. A notable order may lower drug prices for people who are having Medicare Part B and D.
In an effort to supplement the prescription drug cost, he has pledged to send $200 drug cards to all Americans. Though health experts are uncertain of the plan’s long-term benefits for reducing drug prices. Besides, even the White House’s suggested process for the plan payment remains uncertain. Trump has also backed to end surprise billing, which Congress has also backed.
Biden has Advantage over Trump
Among the registered voters, a larger percentage of the voters think that Joe Biden has a better approach for each of the following:
- Determining the future of the Affordable Care Act
- Making decisions regarding women’s reproductive health services and choices, including abortion
- Dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak
- Reducing the Individuals’ healthcare costs
- Saving people from the surprise medical bills
- Reducing prescription drug costs
- Managing development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine