The Politics of It All: Healthcare Reform and the 2020 Presidential Election

American politics can be confusing for some, but healthcare reform shouldn’t be. 

 

With the presidential election only one day away, record-breaking numbers show that many Michiganders have already begun casting their ballots and securing their votes. While many would take this as a sure-fire sign that citizens are educated on the policies discussed by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, questions still remain.

 

One healthcare professional says this is mostly due to political tactics and a lack of clear information on policy issues.

Marti Lolli, Priority Health’s Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President Consumer and Government Markets

“The message to seniors that says they have to worry about pre-existing conditions is a scare tactic. Medicare already states that carriers cannot exclude people with pre-existing conditions and so does Medicaid,” said Marti Lolli, Priority Health’s Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President Consumer and Government Markets. “Employers who buy coverage, which is the other half of us,  also don’t have policies that exclude pre-existing conditions.” 

 

The issue of healthcare coverage and who has access to healthcare services has been a trending topic in the presidential race. Both candidates have been open about their opinions on the Affordable Care Act, a healthcare reform act enacted under the Obama administration.

 

The act as three primary goals as outlined on Healthcare.gov:

 

  • Make affordable health insurance available to more people. The law provides consumers with subsidies (“premium tax credits”) that lower costs for households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.

 

  • Expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the federal poverty level. (Not all states have expanded their Medicaid programs.)

 

  • Support innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally.

 

Biden, who held the role of Vice President under the Obama administration, adamantly supports the furthered implementation of the ACA. Trump has been pushing for its repeal.

 

Lolli says an ACA repeal would have a devastating effect on Michiganders.

 

“The number one impact of a repeal to the ACA for Michiganders would be the loss of Medicaid coverage,” said Lolli. “Right now, especially with COVID, there’s been a huge expansion of individuals on Medicaid…a lot of folks depend on that coverage.”

 

“That expansion was a nonpartisan issue in Michigan,” said Lolli, who served as an advisor to state and national associations in Lansing and Washington, D.C. on implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “On both sides of the aisle, Democrats and the Republicans, supported that in Michigan believing that [the ACA] enabled better access and more affordable access long term.”

 

Lolli says many of the adults who have benefited significantly from the expansion of the ACA are a part of minority populations.

 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Black, Hispanic, and white adults have all made historic insurance coverage gains under the ACA. Since its implementation, the gap between Black and White adult uninsured rates has been reduced by 4.1 percentage points.

 

Blacks and Hispanics had the highest uninsured rates prior to the ACA and have made the largest gains. The uninsured rate for Black adults dropped from 24.4 percent in 2013 to 14.4 percent in 2018, while the rate for Hispanic adults decreased from 40.2 percent to 24.9 percent.

 

Nationally, more than 22 million Americans currently have coverage through the ACA.

 

Open enrollment for 2021 plans in the ACA began Sunday (Nov. 1) and runs through December 15, 2020.

 

To shop for individual plans through the healthcare exchange, consumers can visit:

 

https://www.healthcare.gov/

 

For more information about individual plans from Priority Health, including the new, first-of-its kind Telehealth PCP plan visit:

 

https://www.priorityhealth.com/individual-family-health-insurance

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