Healthcare was front-and-center in 1st Presidential Debate (Minus the Dust)

By September 30, 2020April 12th, 2021Business, Healthcare Transformation, Leadership

Yesterday, in my post about the presidential debate, I wondered if healthcare would be part of the debate or would COVID and taxes over shadow the debate.

Well we were not disappointed, navigating through the dust, interruptions and bickering, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden managed to speak about the future of the ACA, and health insurance.

here are few healthcare highlights from the presidential debate on September 29 at Case Western Reserve Campus:

  • Affordable Care Act and The Supreme Court
  • Pre-Existing Conditions
  • Individual Mandate
  • Public Option


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Supreme Court

  • In the first few minutes of the debate, Chris Wallace asked about Judge Amy Coney Barrett nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court especially that one week after the November presidential election, the Supreme Court is set to hear a lawsuit, supported by the Trump administration, that seeks to overturn the ACA.


Pre-Existing Conditions

  • Mr. Biden insisted that 22 million Americans would lose insurance and 100 million would lose protections for preexisting conditions if the ACA is overturned.
  • HHS said in 2017 as many as 133 million Americans have preexisting conditions, and a KFF analysis estimates 54 million Americans have conditions serious enough to lead to coverage denials if the ACA is overturned.
  • President Trump claims that his executive orders protects pre-existing conditions.


Individual Mandate

  • Chris Wallace questioned the president about his promise to repeal and replace the ACA, adding that President Trump hadn’t released a comprehensive plan to replace the health law despite pledges to do so.
  • The president insisted that he had gotten rid of the individual mandate.
  • Chris Wallace said eliminating the mandate was not a comprehensive plan.


Public Option

  • President Trump accused the Democratic Party of wanting “socialist medicine,” and claimed Mr. Biden wants to end private insurance.
  • Biden denied those claims and said his health plan, which includes expanded ACA subsidies and a public option, would allow employees to keep their private health insurance.
  • Biden claimed that he has not supported Medicare-for-All proposals.


Drug Prices 

  • President Trump claimed that drug prices would be coming down “80 or 90 percent.”
  • The president highlighted insulin, which he said he’s getting so inexpensively, “it’s like water.”
  • Insulin continues to retail for about $300 per vial, according to STAT, but cheaper insulin prices could be coming for some seniors.
  • CMS recently said it is expanding the number of Medicare Advantage plans that provide insulin for a $35 or less monthly copay.


When you filter through the dust, interruptions and bickering, Healthcare was front and center and  healthcare leaders and providers can recognize the consequential impact of the election on healthcare in 2021 and beyond.

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