2020 Election: Healthcare Platforms in Plain English

November 3, 2020 is Election Day in the US. However, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, records are being broken with mail-in ballots and early voting while we're also seeing record infection rates. We still have no firm date on a vaccine release, despite seeming advances, like NIH's stage 3 of a clinical trial of investigational vaccine all the way back in July. With the present transitional quagmire, it's important to understand the differences in the Republican versus the Democratic platforms in very simple terms.

Either Democrat former Vice President Joe Biden or Republican incumbent President Donald Trump will be our next President and the power in Congress may shift from Republican to Democrat-dominated. Here is a summary of each party's Healthcare platform in plain English, though it's a message worthy of translation into every language.

The Republican Platform in Plain English

There isn't really a Republican platform, per se. There is a "vision" or "agenda" called the "America First Healthcare Vision," summarized here.

Here is a simple bullet point list of the key features listed in Trump's vision:

  • improve care, especially for the most vulnerable,
  • provide more choice to "put patients and doctors back in control," and
  • lower costs, "dramatically" for Americans.

America First is, in fact, an Executive Order. You can read it first-hand here if you'd like.

Trump is neither dismantling The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) that was passed under the administration of former President Barack Obama, nor is he rolling out a new healthcare plan or system, rather, he is using his executive authority to make some unilateral changes that are likely to appeal to most Republicans and not to appeal to most Democrats.

At the first Presidential debate on September 29, 2020, the moderator Chris Wallace asked, "my question to you is 'what is the Trump Healthcare Plan?'" Please watch the video below for the President's answer.


The Democrat Platform in Plain English

Unlike some Democratic candidates that lost to Biden during the primary, Joe Biden's plan vows to "protect and build on Obamacare." He cited that as his reason for not advocating for Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All, and thus, successfully differentiated himself on the topic of healthcare and won the right to determine the Democratic party's platform. The stance is firm and empathetic, showing that his Healthcare platform is trending in the direction of universal coverage, but that he is not ready and not yet willing to overhaul The Affordable Care Act.

Here is a simple bullet point list of the key features listed in Biden's plan:

  1. "Give every American Access to Affordable Health Insurance"
  2. "Provide the Peace of Mind of Affordable, Quality Health care and a Less Complex Healthcare System"
  3. "Stand up to Abuse of Power by Prescription Drug Corporations"
  4. "Ensure Healthcare is a right for all, not a privilege for just a Few"

Biden's conclusion, from his platform page, is "Supporting Health, not Rewarding Health." In essence, Biden's plan works to improve Obamacare while also fighting to keep Healthcare separate from the interests of wealthy corporations that his campaign points out are corrupting the system.

Biden describes his healthcare platform in this short video:


In a Word: Vote. 

English: Vote! Spanish: ¡Vote! French: Votez ! Chinese: 投票! Arabic: تصويت! Whichever vision / platform is best will be determined by YOU, so make sure to vote on or before November 3, 2020.