insurance

Where Clinton and Trump Stand on Obamacare

Clinton would expand the Affordable Care Act, while Trump would rely on private plans operating across state lines.

Key differences: Clinton supports the Affordable Care Act and wants to expand on Obamacare. Trump wants to repeal the ACA and has suggested letting private plans operate across state lines.

Key Clinton quote: “As your president, I want to build on the progress we’ve made. I’ll do more to bring down health care costs for families, ease burdens on small businesses, and make sure consumers have the choices they deserve. And frankly, it is finally time for us to deal with the skyrocketing out-of-pocket health costs, and particularly runaway prescription drug prices.”

Key Trump quote: “We have a disaster called the big lie: ObamaCare [...] You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, to use it, because the deductibles are so high, it's virtually useless.”

Clinton’s health care platform builds on President Obama’s landmark law and rejects Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare. Two of Clinton’s key goals are lowering out-of-pocket and prescription-drug costs. To make premiums more affordable, she backs a tax credit of up to $5,000 per family to cover costs exceeding 5% of household income. She also wants to cap Obamacare premiums to no more than 8.5% of household income.

As part of her efforts to drive down costs, Clinton wants to increase access to health care. She would encourage all states to expand Medicaid and build on one of President Obama’s proposals, which offers a 100% three-year funding match to qualifying states. Clinton would also let families access care regardless of immigration status and increase health care options in rural areas.

To increase enrollment, she would invest in more government staff and resources to help people navigate the enrollment process, along with more advertising and outreach efforts. She also supports a “public option,” which would create a government health insurance agency to compete with private companies. Her campaign says this would lower costs and broaden insurance choices.

Like most Republicans, Trump wants to repeal Obamacare. According to his official platform, Trump will ask Congress for a full repeal on his first day as president. Instead of Obamacare, he wants to allow individuals to shop for private medical coverage across state lines, which could encourage competition and drive down costs. Trump has called for letting consumers fully deduct health insurance premiums from their tax returns and expanding the use of tax-exempt health savings accounts. These HSAs could accumulate tax-free contributions and become part of individuals’ estates, so they could be passed on to heirs without tax penalty.

Trump’s other goals include increasing pricing transparency from health care providers, block-granting Medicaid to states and allowing overseas drug providers entry into the market. Unlike Clinton, he doesn’t support providing insurance to illegal immigrants, and his platform states that restricting immigration would relieve health care costs for state and local governments.

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