For Clinton and Trump, It’s a Low-Key Skirmish Over Affordable Care Act

It’s not 2012, and Obamacare appears to no longer cause much visceral passion on both sides, or many words, from the presidential candidates. There are so many other issues, aside from healthcare, never mind questions over Donald Trump’s outrageous statements, or Hillary Clinton’s email. While healthcare was not front-and-center in their nomination acceptance speeches and statements on the economy, Clinton and Trump are very much opposed, especially when it comes to Obamacare,  also known as the Affordable Care Act.

Let’s look at Trump’s GOP-nomination acceptance speech first, because, well, it’s easier to dispatch: essentially, he didn’t have much to say about health care for the general population.

17 words.

“We will repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare. You will be able to choose your own doctor again,” he said in his acceptance speech.

Of course, he probably figured he didn’t have to do any explaining, which is not unusual for Trump. In healthcare, that’s his trump card: Trump has repeatedly called for the repeal of Obamacare.

Trump  emphasized on his Website:“On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare,”citing runway costs, and websites that don’t work, among other issues.

In his economic address, Trump again pounded on Obamacare, but with few words, or explanations. “One of my first acts as President will be to repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare, saving another 2 million American jobs,” Trump said. Trump’s claim about the potential savings has been disputed, as  Modern Healthcare reported.

Clinton Talks More About Health Plans, Still Light on Details

Although Clinton didn’t reveal any detailed new proposals about how should we handle healthcare, she did mention in  her  acceptance speech how she worked on healthcare issues throughout her career, and her continued support for Obamacare.  Clinton mentioned briefly her failed attempt at healthcare reform during her husband’s administration, and talked about “20 million more Americans with health insurance,” under Obamacare.

Yesterday, in Detroit, Clinton said in her economic speech she would “defend and improve the Affordable Care Act, and for me, that includes giving Americans, in every state, a choice of a public option health insurance plan that will help everybody afford coverage, it will strengthen competition  and drive down costs.” As she did in her acceptance speech, Clinton also inferred in her economic address that she would work to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

Referring to proposed tax cuts espoused by Trump —  the “Trump Loophole” she called it, citing his business interests – Clinton said her opponent’s plans would lead to massive budgetary cuts in priorities such as healthcare.

In her acceptance speech, Clinton talked about her vow to protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, and she criticized Trump when he “mocks and mimics a reporter with disabilities.” She also mentioned the need for more mental health care in this country.

Clinton offered up names of people she helped working through healthcare policy.

She met Ryan Moore when he was 7, and wearing  a full body brace and weighing about 40 pounds. “Children like Ryan kept me going when our plan for universal health care failed and kept me working with leaders of both parties to help create the Children’s Health Insurance Program” and “twenty million more Americans with health insurance,” Clinton said.

She talked about Lauren Manning, who was gravely injured in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and how she worked on behalf of the 9/11 families “and our first responders who got sick from their time at Ground Zero.”

Citing her history, TClinton talked about how she “sweat the details of policy,” from her work for children for the Children’s Defense Fund,  in New Bedford, Mass in 1973

Clinton’s statement about her work in Massachusetts didn’t sit well with some people in New Bedford. The town’s leaders were upset at Clinton’s “depiction of the Whaling City as a place where handicapped children were abandoned at home because the schools lacked accommodations for youngsters with special needs,” according to The Boston Herald

Trump and Clinton Clash Over Veterans

In his acceptance speech, Trump targeted his assistance for veterans. “We will take care of our great veterans like they have never been taken care of before,” Trump said. “My opponent dismissed the VA scandal as being not widespread- one more sign of how out of touch she really is.”

In his healthcare plan, Trump said he would make changes in veterans assistance that – in his oft-repeated refrain: “will make America great again. ” Trump said 300,000 veterans have died, waiting for care. Trump vowed that, if elected, he would decrease wait times, improve healthcare outcomes and “facilitate a seamless transition from service into civil life.”

While Trump criticized Clinton over veterans, she, in fact, did not mention veterans in her acceptance speech. She has said on her Web site that she would ensure veterans have opportunities and tools they need to succeed upon returning home, and build a “21st century Department of Veterans Affairs to deliver world-class care.”

Clinton said she was outraged by the recent scandals at the Veterans Administration and will demand “accountability and performance from VA leadership.” So Trump’s assertion about Clinton dismissing the VA scandal: inaccurate.

Whatever vow about healthcare for veterans Trump made got swallowed up, and rightfully so,  in the aftermath of his incredible tweeting and lashing out of the family of Capt. Humayun Khan, who died in Iraq in 2004. It followed after the slain soldier’s father, Khizr Khan, criticized Trump for his proposed ban on Muslims entering the  U.S. and called on the GOP to reject the candidate.

What’s Ahead?

As we get closer to the election, it will be interesting how detailed Clinton and Trump get in their speeches and policy statements on healthcare, or if they continue on this path of generalities.


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