Healthcare Policies of U.S. Political Parties

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Healthcare Policies of U.S. Political Parties by Mind Map: Healthcare Policies of U.S. Political Parties

1. The Libertarian Party

1.1. The health care policy of the Libertarian Party is founded on every American being able to access affordable healthcare by “removing government interference and enabling free markets” (Libertarian National Committee, 2017).

1.2. Healthcare Policies and Views

1.2.1. Medicare Historical Development Medicare has been the healthcare benefits to Americans aged 65 and older. Most recently it has been expanded into Medicare Part D coverage, covering the pharmaceutical needs of elderly Americans. There are currently 53.8 million enrolled in Medicare (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, (n.d.). Implementation Libertarians are not looking to eliminate Medicare. But they believe it should be utilized as a “safety net”(Eisenberg, 2016). Impacted Populations Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, (n.d.). Many of these elderly and disabled individuals would lose their healthcare coverage. Gary Johnson the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party in the 2016 election stated that they are not looking to totally revoke Medicare, but instead raise the age to 72 or 73 to help control “the worst runaway expenditure in the federal government today"(Eisenberg, 2016).

1.2.2. Medicaid Historical Development Healthcare benefits including medical visits and pharmaceutical benefit coverage for disabled Americans and those that fall below the Federal Poverty Line. Implementation Instead of offering Medicaid they would legalize charitable hospitals where physicians could volunteer and donate their services (On The Issues, 2015). The Libertarian Party believes that it is an individuals right to "determine the level of health insurance they want, if any" (Libertarian National Committee, 2017). Therefore they believe that there should not be a requirement for the government to provider any medical care such as Medicaid. Medicaid would be replaced with"tax-free medical savings accounts that individuals could use to put away money to cover future medical bills"(AARP,2012). Impacted Populations The impacted populations would focus on the impoverished of the nation, but majority of that population would be children, blind and disabled (The PEW Charitable Trusts, 2016). Medicaid covers "72.5 million Americans, including children, pregnant women, parents, seniors and individuals with disabilities" and is the largest payer in the United States (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, (n.d.)). Attached if the full list of Medicaid eligible individuals off the official Medicaid website from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

1.2.3. Affordable Care Act Historical Development The Affordable Care Act aspects of Medicaid expansion and "mandated health insurance is inherently anti-libertarian" as this provision offends libertarian principles of individual autonomy and free choice"(Blackman, 2013). Implementation Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Presidential candidate blamed “Obamacare for his health insurance premiums quadrupling” even though he has not been to the doctors for several years to establish the Libertarian Party’s stance against the Affordable Care Act (Eisenberg, 2016). The Libertarian Party believes that the Affordable Care Act should be repealed, not to be replaced with another healthcare plan, but to remove the government's involvement in healthcare. Impacted Populations The ACA expanded Medicaid to those that "earn less than 138 percent" of the federal poverty line. or a single individual in 2016, the upper income limit for Medicaid eligibility is $16,394, and for a family of four, the upper income limit is $33,534(Norris, 2016). Along with the expansion of Medicaid, individuals with pre-existing conditions could also potentially be negatively effected by losing the protection under the Affordable Care Act. Individuals under the age of 26 that are on their parents health insurance would no longer be able to claim this benefit, but instead they would have to personally invest in their own healthcare, (Or their parents could invest in their own health care) (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2015). Women and their right to reproductive rights such as preventative care, maternity care and abortion (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2015)..

1.2.4. Free Market Testing and the "Right to Try" Historical Development The right to try is an “effort to expand the ability of terminally ill patients to gain access to experimental medicines” (Silverman, 2016). Implementing this law will “allow patients to leapfrog a drug development process that takes years before a new treatment becomes available” (Silverman,2016). Implementation Implementing this “Right to Try” will allow seriously ill patients to “obtain a drug under development, even though they aren’t enrolled in a clinical trial”(Silverman, 2016) Implementing this “Right to Try” would eliminate the FDA in approving the use of experimental drugs in circumstances where there is a terminally ill patients or the patient would qualify for compassionate use. Eliminating the FDA would just remove the arbitrary and cumbersome process to approve those requests (Silverman, 2016). Impacted Populations In order for the implementation for the “Right to Try” bill to be effective it would require drug makers to make the medicines available to patients, and insurers to pay for the treatment options as most states have “failed to create funding to help cover medical expenses” (Silverman, 2016). The "Right to Try" bill impacts the terminally ill patients the most, as it gives them access to more options and potentially life-saving medications earlier instead of waiting through the years of approval process when it may be too late.

1.2.5. Tort Reform Historical Development A tort is as a "civil wrong which causes an injury, for which a victim may seek damages, typically in the form of money damages, against the alleged wrongdoer". (Ottenwess, Lamberti, Ottenwess, & Dresevic,,2011) In medicine tort is medical malpractice lawsuits, tort reform would prevent medical malpractice ,"tort reform is the mechanism by which defensive medicine is prevented" (Ottenwess, Lamberti, Ottenwess, &Dresevic,,2011) Implementations "Direct costs of malpractice, which include premiums, damage awards in excess of premiums, and associated litigation costs, represent no more than two percent of health care costs" because malpractice accounts for such a small portion of health care costs, in order for tort reform to be an effective cost saving measure it must directly affect the healthcare provided to patients (The National Bureau of Economic Research, (n.d.)). Impacted Populations Healthcare providers would be impacted through tort reform as they would change the way that they practice medicine. Tort Reform is used to reduce the cost of healthcare by “encouraging unnecessary testing and procedures which increase the cost of medical care by forcing medical teams to devote significant time and resources to preventing or defending against unwarranted legal actions” (Libertarian, National Committee 2017). Patients would have lower healthcare costs without unneeded tests and procedures but "reducing liability could increase costly medical errors and encourage providers to recommend profitable but unnecessary and even risky treatments" without the risk of malpractice (The National Bureau of Economic Research, (n.d.)).

1.3. Financing of current healthcare programs

1.3.1. Important Stakeholders The major stakeholders in the healthcare system are patients, physicians, employers, insurance companies, pharmaceutical firms and government (Institute of Catholic Bioethics, 2011). Pharmaceutical companies would have to continue to provide treatment options, but would need to compete on the free marker as an affordable solution to a disease state. They would also have to provide early treatment options within the "Right to Try" Bill. Insurance Companies would have to compete on the free market to offer affordable plans, and a selection of plans of differing degrees of coverage for patients. Patients would have to purchase their own health insurance with the option to completely opt out of coverage if they choose to do so. The government would be the key stakeholder in passing legislation to remove government influence on the health care system. Specifically Congress and the U.S. Senate who would have to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as well as the Medicare and Medicaid Systems and enable a Free Market Health Care System.

1.3.2. Proponents and opponents of policies Proponents of a free market healtcare system Gary Johnson National Center for Policy Analysis Opponents of a free market health care system All of Congress as well as Liberals and Conservatives alike are against a totally free market health care system. Liberals are strongly against the Free market health care system as they believe it is to unpredictable and emotional to allow individuals to purchase their own health care (McArdle, 2012) .

1.3.3. Estimated Program costs The annual cost of defensive medicine exceeds $480 billion annually. Reducing the fear of providers through tort reform would result in saving tax payers an estimated $7 billion within the first 10 years (Oliver & Segal, 2014). There would be a reduction of $296.1 billion in the federal budget based on the plan to remove Medicaid, or to push Medicaid down to the state level (The PEW Charitable Trusts, 2016).

1.3.4. Future Innitatives The future initiative of the Libertarian party would be to remove all government involvement from the health care industry

2. My View Point

3. The Green Party

3.1. The Green Party supports a "single-payer healthcare system" that supports preventative care for all (The Green Party USA,(n.d.).

3.2. Healthcare Policies and Views

3.2.1. Medicare Historical Development Medicare has been established as the medical care coverage for Americans age 65 and older. Implementation The Green Party "not only want to preserve the current Medicare system but would also expand it to create 'Medicare for All,' a national single-payer health care system"(AARP,2012). Impacted populations The elderly population would not be affected as everyone would still have coverage under the Medicare-for-all plan. However, the access to healthcare providers may be more limited as everyone would now have access to a healthcare plan.

3.2.2. Medicaid Historical Developments Medicaid covers Americans below the federal poverty line, as well as many disabled Americans. Although Medicaid covers many Americans twenty-nine million Americans today still do not have health insurance and millions more are underinsured and cannot afford the high copayments and deductibles charged by private health insurance companies that put profits before people (Bernie Sanders Campaign, 2016). Implementation Medicaid would be eliminated as all American citizens would be on the same single-payer system so there would be no use for a Medicaid program as Medicaid patients would have the same care. All current Medicaid recipients would be transferred to the universal health care system. Impacted population Medicaid covers "72.5 million Americans, that are currently covered on Medicaid would have the same healthcare as those on Medicare, those on commercial insurance plans, and those that are not currently insured would all be under one universal plan ( Medicaid,(,n.d.)). A universal health care plan would impact the "about 30 million people will still be uninsured in 2023, and tens of millions will remain underinsured" by providing them with health insurance (Physicians for a National Health Program, 2016).

3.2.3. Affordable Care Act Historical Developments The Affordable Care Act is often viewed as the first step of expanding coverage to more Americans, however, the Green Party views "Obamacare just focuses on just selling more insurance" (On The Issues, 2016) Implementation Expanding the Affordable Care Act to universal health care coverage for all Americans on a one payer system starting coverage at birth. Impacted Population The Affordable Care Act expanded "coverage to about 30 million Americans by requiring people to buy private insurance policies" and by expanding Medicaid. The Green Party agrees with providing healthcare to these additional 30 million people but does not believe they should be required to purchase this insurance, as it should be a basic human right. (Physicians for a national health program, 2016) The additions to the Affordable Care Act such as those under 26 on their parents insurance, as well as it would continue to cover women's prenatal care and preventive birth control as all preventative and medical care would be covered for all Americans (Physicians for a national health program, 2016). The Green Party is pro-choice so abortion would continue to be covered under their universal health care plan.

3.2.4. Mental healthcare for prisoners and homeless Historical Development Mental Health carries a stigma in our country and is a constant issue that is discussed but not addressed in moving forward changes to improve the mental health treatment in our country Mental Health care needs to be provided for prisoners and the homeless. Implementation Instead of keeping those suffering locked up, but instead releasing "incarcerated prisoners with diagnosed mental disorders to secure mental health treatment centers" (On the Issues, 2016). Public policy needs to move in the direction of a voluntary, community-based mental health system that safeguards human dignity, respects individual autonomy, and protects informed consent in order to protect those suffering from mental illness(On the Issues, 2016). Especially those suffering while incarcerated or while homeless. Impacted Population The impacted population will be those incarcerated suffering from mental illness. The homeless would also be impacted by recieving the mental health care necessary to those suffering from mental illness (On the issues, 2016). Improved mental healthcare results in improved mental health for the nation improving the nation as a whole.

3.2.5. Fund “Manhattan Project” for a cure for AIDS Historical Development Based on the mentality of a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons applied to discovering the cure for AIDS. Implementation One priority is confidentiality, and "protecting the confidentiality of all people diagnosed with AIDS/HIV or tested for HIV". This requires the elimination of mandatory screening for AIDS/HIV; and the option for anonymous screening instead (On the Issues, 2016). "More careful and timely approval of effective AIDS drugs by the FDA " to help those already suffering from AIDS and HIV (On the Issues, 2016). In order to cure AIDS it is important not to treat those already suffering but invest in "prevention awareness and access to condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS" (On the Issues, 2016). The "Manhattan Project" also includes support programs for those already suffering from AIDS such as "providing housing for homeless and poor people with AIDS/HIV, providing treatment for homeless people with AIDS/HIV and support for needle exchange programs and for programs to help drug addicts (On the Issues, 2016). Impacted Population Those Americans currently suffering from AIDs or HIV. The FDA and pharmaceutical companies based on the funding and expedited process of drug development for AIDS and HIV (On the Issues, 2016)

3.3. Financing of current healthcare programs and views

3.3.1. Future Initatives Providing a Medicare-for-All type health care plan would establish care for all, potentially cut health care costs, but would ultimately raise taxes. Medicare-for-All would cut costs "by reducing administrative overhead, hospital and doctor's’ fees, and prescription drug prices" (Qiu, 2016). Although a one payer system would cut costs through these measures it may also impact the quality of care, as there is no evidence that the Medicare system is more effective (Qiu,2016). A one payer system would mean that "all residents of the U.S. would be covered for all medically necessary services, including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs" (Physicians for a National Health Program, 2016).

3.3.2. Important Stakeholders The major stakeholders in the healthcare system are patients, physicians, employers, insurance companies, pharmaceutical firms and government (Institute of Catholic Bioethics, 2011). Although insurance companies and employers are key stake holders now. Insurance companies would become obsolete. Employers would then become a stakeholder in any potential tax additions. Physicians become a crucial support of ensuring that all Americans receive the necessary medical care, as all care would now be covered for all Americans. Patients are still a crucial stakeholder ensuring that they are attended doctor's appointments and taking advantage of the preventative care available to them. Tax payers would also be an important stakeholder in the financing a one payer healthcare system. The U.S.Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would be an important stakeholder from transitioning the benefits from the 65 and older population to all citizens as they are familiar with the protocol and procedure of the Medicare system. The President of the United States as well as Congress are the key stakeholders in voting in new legislation to transition the health care system to a one payer system.

3.3.3. Proponents and opponents of policies Proponents of a universal health care system Senator Bernie Sanders President Donald Trump (Potentially?) Physicians for a National Health Program Dr. Jill Stein Opponents of a universal health care system Managed Care Companies Pharmaceutical Companies

3.3.4. Estimated Program Costs In order to pay for the "Medicare for All" healthcare system the Green Party suggests "cutting military expenditures, raising taxes on the wealthy and adding new taxes on Wall Street transactions and capital gains" (AARP, 2012). Raising taxes without requiring additional fees would require "a payroll tax of "11.7 percent "(Qiu, 2016). A single-payer healthcare system is estimated to "cost $15 trillion over ten years" (Geyman,2015). It is believed that there would be some cost cutting measuring to offset the $15 trillion such as "$592 billion would be saved annually by cutting the administrative waste of some 1,300 private health insurers ($476 billion) and reducing pharmaceutical prices to European levels ($116 billion")(Geyman, 2015). In order to cover the cost of the $15 trillion, one potential suggestion is a "6.7 percent payroll tax on employers and a 2.2 percent tax on individual incomes under $200,000 or joint incomes under $250,000" but that would still include deductibles and co-pays (Qiu, 2016).

4. References