Healthcare Has Been Lacking Attention This Election Season

With the 2016 Presidential Race in full swing, one issue that has been largely absent from the political discourse is health care. As this recent Forbes article points out, throughout the first two GOP debates, there has been little discussion about candidates positions on health care issues.

Many of the Republican candidates have voiced their displeasure with Obamacare and have announced that they have plans to repeal and replace it. Jeb Bush revealed today that he would repeal and replace Barack Obama’s healthcare law. However, this has basically been the extent of the conversation.

The positions of the Democratic candidates have been even less clear. The first Democratic debate will take place tonight; this would be the perfect opportunity to open up the conversation to health care and the wide range of issues surrounding the industry.

The Congressional Budget Office has projected that Medicare and Medicaid will make a substantial dent in federal spending over the next ten years. A dent so large, that it will amount to one-third of all spending by 2025. As the United States looks to get a handle on the national debt, Medicare and Medicaid is clearly an issue that needs to be examined and fixed now.

The conservative rhetoric has largely centered on allowing Medicare to compete with private insurance plans and give more responsibility for Medicaid to the states. The Democrats have not provided much insight into their plans besides implementing price controls on Medicare Part D.

The Affordable Care Act and drug price controls are another two issues that candidates will need to take a clear position on moving forward. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have both proposed top-down price controls to reduce drug prices for consumers, but more details are needed to distinguish their individual approaches. Furthermore, both candidates need to discuss how their plans will ensure that innovation within the pharmaceutical sector will remain unharmed.

As the election season wages on, moderators should begin to focus on forcing candidates to provide their stances on health care issues. These are issues that affect the wellbeing of all Americans, in terms of both health and financial stability.

We are still at a very early stage in the campaign season, but as we approach the third debate, it is time that the healthcare sector receives more attention. The debate tonight is the perfect opportunity to shift the conversation towards these pressing issues.

from Bjorn Koch | Healthcare

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