September 2020

Cigna Government Affairs article – Presidential Candidates’ Stances on Health Care Policies

With only a few weeks until the 2020 presidential election, President Donald Trump and the democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, have outlined their planned agendas should they win in November. Their stances on health care – particularly their support or opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – highlight starkly different approaches.

As a 2016 candidate, Trump vowed to replace the ACA. While substituting the law did not occur in Trump’s first term, he has taken steps to reduce drug prices, change medical price disclosure, and alter rules on health plans. Should he be reelected, President Trump has stated he will continue to focus his health care agenda on rolling back the ACA. We also anticipate he will continue to focus Administration efforts on lowering prescription drug prices and pushing for greater price transparency for consumers.

Biden has indicated his top health care policy priority is to expand coverage by building upon the ACA. Should he win, it is expected that Biden would take immediate steps to reverse Trump’s regulatory ACA changes. He would also urge Congress to expand ACA coverage, increasing eligibility for coverage, and adding a public option health plan to be available to all Americans, including those offered employer-sponsored insurance. As a key participant in the development and passage of the ACA over 2009-2010, Biden does not support Medicare for All, and instead supports using the framework of the ACA to expand coverage through a mix of government and private insurance plans. Biden also supports lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60, from 65.

Other priorities for Biden include banning surprise billing by out-of-network providers and addressing rising pharmaceutical prices by limiting launch prices of drugs that have no competition and allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug manufacturers.

As we move closer to Election Day, focus will be on the upcoming presidential and vice presidential debates. Each debate will be 90 minutes from 9:00-10:30 PM EST and broadcast on multiple networks.

  • Presidential Debates:
  • September 29
  • October 15
  • October 22
  • Vice Presidential Debate:
  • October 7