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Consider ‘candidates’ views on health care, proposed solution’

Jan Phillips

The 2024 elections may well be decided by voters this fall based on economic conditions but health care is turning out to be an unexpected central campaign issue.

The League of Women Voters encourages voters to look at both presumptive presidential candidates’ views on health care and proposed solutions to a variety of health care system challenges, while deciding which candidate to elect.

According to Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest poll, 74% of adults say an unexpected health care bill is their No. 1 financial concern, more than their fears about food, gas, energy and paying rent. Nearly three in four adults, majorities in both parties, say they’re concerned about paying for unexpected medical bills and other health costs.

Three issues appear to be a primary focus on both sides of the presidential campaigns: women’s health and access to abortion; affordability; and market competition.

Paul H. Keckley, a health care policy analyst and managing editor of The Keckley Report, concisely summarized the health care positions of Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s campaigns. As expected, there are profound philosophical differences in each party’s view of the issues and their proposed solutions.


Biden policy: The system is unaffordable because it’s dominated by profit-focused corporations. It needs increased regulation, including price controls.

Trump policy: The system is unaffordable to some because it’s overly regulated, and lacks competition and price transparency.

Access to health insurance coverage

Biden policy: It’s necessary for access to needed services, and should be universally accessible and affordable. Advocates for expanding coverage, especially for postpartum women and children.

Trump policy: It’s a personal choice. Government should play a limited role.

Drug prices

Biden policy: Drug companies take advantage of the system to keep prices high. Price controls are necessary to lower costs.

Trump policy: Drug prices are too high. Allowing importation and increased price transparency are keys to reducing costs.


Biden policy: It’s foundational to seniors’ well-being and should be protected. But demand is growing, requiring modernization (aka the value agenda) and additional revenues (taxes plus appropriations).

Trump policy: It’s foundational to senior health and in need of modernization through privatization. Waste and fraud are problematic to its future.


Biden policy: The federal government (Federal Trade Commision, Department of Justice) should enhance protections against vertical and horizontal consolidation that reduce choices, and increase prices in every sector of health care.

Trump policy: Current anti-trust and consumer protections are adequate to address consolidation in health care.

Price transparency

Biden policy: Necessary and essential to protect consumers. Needs expansion.

Trump policy: Necessary to drive competition in markets. Needs more attention.

Affordable Care Act

Biden policy: A necessary foundation for health system modernization that appropriately balances public and private responsibilities. Fix, repair and expand subsidies.

Trump Policy: An unnecessary government takeover of the health system that’s harmful and wasteful. Repeal and Replace.

Access to abortion

Biden policy: It’s a basic right for women and should be protected by the federal government.

Trump policy: It’s up to the states, and should be safe and rare. A 16-week national ban should be the standard.

Access to IVF treatments

Biden policy: It’s a basic right, and should be universally accessible in every state and protected.

Trump policy: It’s a complex issue that should be considered in every state.

Role of federal government

Biden policy: The federal government should enable equitable access and affordability. The private sector is focused more on profit than the public good.

Trump policy: Market forces will drive better value. States should play a bigger role

Which candidate do you think will improve health outcomes for Americans? Who will best manage our largest economic obstacle? We encourage all voters to ask clarifying questions about health care. Your vote is your voice.

Jan Phillips, M.Ed., is the current chair of the La Plata League of Women Voters’ Healthcare Committee. She is also the vice chair of the La Plata Healthcare Improvement Coalition, working to improve health care availability and delivery in La Plata County. You can find out more at www.laplata.org