September 7, 2016
10 healthcare differences between Clinton, Trump
As the presidential candidates continue stumping around the country, many will hear their views on the current state of healthcare in the United States. Corporate Synergies, an employer benefits brokerage and consultancy, has rounded up the views of Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on many different aspects that can affect how employers provide healthcare benefits in the next White House administration.
The Affordable Care Act
Clinton: Supportive of the Affordable Care Act, Hillary Clinton wants to build on the healthcare law’s successes, while making some tweaks – such as a repeal of the Cadillac tax and increased access to pharmaceutical benefits.
Trump: Seeks a repeal of the ACA, but wants to keep some parts of it, including the pre-existing condition exclusion provisions.
Trump and Clinton both seek to repeal the excise tax of 40% on the cost of health coverage exceeding threshold value of $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for a family. Set to begin in 2020 and is considered a major funding vehicle for the healthcare law.
Cost of coverage
Although both candidates agree the cost of healthcare coverage needs to go down, both come at it though some slightly different methods.
Trump proposes to increase consumer choice, provide individual tax relief for health insurance and keep plans portable and affordable. He also seeks to break health insurance company monopolies and allow individuals to buy insurance across state lines.
Clinton has also argued against health insurance monopolies and published a comprehensive plan for reducing out-of-pocket health insurance costs.
Prescription drug costs
Another topic of common ground, both Clinton and Trump agree the cost of prescription drugs needs to drop. Both support allowing government-run Medicare to set drug prices to reduce the growth in healthcare costs.
With recent announcements of big proposed mergers between insurer groups (Humana and Aetna, Anthem and Cigna, etc.), both Trump and Clinton have expressed concern this will lead to fewer options for consumers.
The common answer between Trump and Clinton is yes to more healthcare provider transparency. Clinton does take her comments one step further, specifically mentioning the need to end “surprise” medical bills that occur.
While Clinton has not expressed any expansion on the initiative, Trump supports consumer-driven healthcare plans. And his proposed healthcare plan calls for tax-free HSAs and greater access and portability of CDHPs.
Purchasing insurance across state lines
Currently, states set their own regulations for insurance and establish their own requirement, inhibiting interstate sales of health insurance. This has been a major policy initiative for Trump, and he proposes to modify these laws in an effort to increase competition. Clinton has not addressed this topic on the campaign trail so far.
Clinton: Prefers the ACA model over a single-payer model.
Trump: While he says he would repeal the ACA, he has made comments suggesting he would be open to some kind of free healthcare option or single-payer system.