The Democratic view on health care is based around the idea that “accessible, affordable, high quality health care is reart of the American promise, that Americans should have the security that comes with good health care.” Democrats believe that no American should have to face financial destitution because they fall ill or get injured, stating that “no one should have to choose between taking their child to a doctor and paying the rent.” They are firm supporters of laws that prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to Americans with pre-existing medical conditions, capping or canceling coverage, or charging women more due simply to gender. They also support allowing young Americans who are just entering the workforce to stay on their parents’ health care plans. They believe in preserving Medicare benefits for seniors. Democrats are strong supporters of the Affordable Care Act and of strengthening Medicare. Democrats stand in support of stem cell research, as well as other medical research, as a means to develop cures and treatments. They also support tax credits to businesses who offer quality, affordable healthcare, and tax credits to Americans who are approaching 65 and are not working, so that they can continue to afford healthcare until their Medicare benefits come into effect.
The Affordable Care Act
President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010. This act greatly reformed healthcare, and is strongly supported by the Democratic Party. Democrats state that “the Affordable Care Act has already begun to end the worst insurance company abuses,” and that “like Medicare before it, the Affordable Care Act lays a new foundation for our country that will bring additional security and stability to the American people for generations to come.” Besides providing benefits to all Americans, Democrats consider the end to discrimination against pre-existing conditions to be the most important aspects of the Affordable Care Act. The act also increased the transparency of the insurance industry. Democrats state “the insurance industry will be more transparent than ever, with summaries of coverage and premiums available for every plan in the marketplace.” They pride themselves on the fact that it is reducing the cost of healthcare to middle- and lower-class Americans, and have called the act “the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in history.” Democrats believe that the tax benefits offered to small businesses will offset the costs of increasing coverage, and will minimize the economical impact that the act has on these businesses and the economy as a whole.
They believe that the benefits of the Affordable Care Act will also reduce the cost of healthcare to the federal government, “reducing our deficit by more than $1 trillion in the next two decades alone.” They support this supposition with the fact that “since the law passed, health care costs are growing at the slowest rate on record stretching back to 1960.” They also believe that the healthcare reform is benefiting Medicare, stating that it “strengthens Medicare by reducing fraud, improving quality of care, and closing the Medicare “donut hole” gap in seniors’ prescription drug coverage.”
Democrats on Medicare
As stated in the 2012 Democratic platform, “Democrats believe that Medicare is a sacred compact with our seniors.” Democrats support preserving and strengthening the current institution of Medicare. They believe that “America’s seniors have earned their Medicare and Social Security through a lifetime of hard work and personal responsibility,” and should therefore reap the benefits of those earnings. They support President Obama’s plans to preserve Medicare. They oppose efforts to privatize Medicare, as well as plans to voucherize it. They also oppose plans to raise the amount of money seniors are paying into Medicare.
They are strongly in support of reforming Medicare part D, so that it ensures better coverage of prescription drugs to seniors and does more to bring down the cost of prescription drugs, as it currently does very little to lower these costs. Democrats believe that drug companies should not be allowed to change prescription costs more often than seniors can change their Medicare D plans. Democrats believe that the current structure and failings of Medicare D are what is driving seniors into HMOs. They believe that “elderly Americans deserve a real prescription drug benefit – one that uses the government’s purchasing power to lower costs and ensures access to new therapies for their illnesses.”
Democrats vs Republicans on Health Care
Democrats severely disagree with the Republican agenda regarding health care and Medicare. Republicans are fighting tooth and nail against the Affordable Care Act, in hopes of having it repealed, while Democrats still stand behind it, adamant that all Americans are entitled to health care. The largest discrepancy in beliefs is in the cost of the act. While Republicans believe that the Affordable Care Act will economically damage the country, Democrats believe that making health care available and more affordable to Americans will help heal the economy. The Republicans state that the cost of the Affordable Care Act to businesses is too great, and will cause them to cut hours or lay off employees in order to account for the greater costs. Democrats, however, believe that the cost to businesses is far more reasonable than the high cost to individual Americans would be without the act in place.
On the topic of Medicare, Democrats believe that “the Republican budget plan would end Medicare as we know it. Democrats adamantly oppose any efforts to privatize or voucherize Medicare; unlike our opponents we will not ask seniors to pay thousands of dollars more every year while they watch the value of their Medicare benefits evaporate.” They believe that the Medicare prescription programs put into place by President Bush were more beneficial to drug companies than they were to subscribers, and strongly support Obama revoking them.
Bill Clinton on Healthcare
Former President Bill Clinton is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act. When discussing the act in his 2012 Democratic National Convention Speech, Clinton criticized Republicans for their skepticism, saying “So are we better off because Obama fought for health care reform? You bet we are.” He does state, however, that Democrats need to be more willing to compromise on health care delivery if they want to preserve full healthcare, saying “what the Democrats have to understand is, if they want to preserve a health care program for people who need it and the benefits of Medicare, we have to be willing to change the delivery system. We’re spending too much on the way we finance health care and the way we pay for it. Just like the Republicans can’t be completely allergic to taxes, the Democrats can’t be completely allergic to changes in health care delivery.”
- Democratic Party on Health Care – On The Issues
- Issues – Health Care – Democrats.org
- Implementing The Affordable Care Act & Strengthening Medicare – The House Democrats
- Bill Clinton on Health Care – On The Issues
- Democratic Views on Medicare
- What Will Obamacare Do To Small Businesses?
- Democratic Views on Welfare
- Republican Views On Obamacare
- Republican Views on Health Care
- Republican Views on Medicare
- Republican Alternatives to Obamacare
- Democratic Party Beliefs
- Is The Healthcare Website Fixed? November 2013…
- Differences Between Democrats and Republicans