Republican National Convention: What Does the Republicans’ Health Plan Mean for Medicare?

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Following the week of the virtual Democratic National Convention, the Republicans held their four-day convention last week. While the convention was supposed to be held in Charlotte, NC, most of the speakers ended up being taped from the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. 

The convention culminated in Trump speaking to a crowd of 1,500 on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday night, followed by a fireworks display behind the Washington Monument. The central focuses of the convention were law and order, gun rights, conservative judges, and abortion.  

So what were the main healthcare points discussed at the convention? Is your Medicare safe under the Republicans? While Republicans have not been completely clear about what their health plan is, here are some of the healthcare issues that were discussed. 

Healthcare takeaways from the Republican National Convention

  • Trump has not come out clearly on his plans for Medicare and Social Security, but has mentioned several times wanting to cut these programs back. The Republicans also opposed Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid
  • President Trump is focusing on getting a COVID-19 vaccine out as soon as possible with his Operation Warp Speed initiative. 
  • Trump wants to continue to expand opportunity zones in an effort to tackle poverty and address social determinants of health. Opportunity zones were created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act to improve poorer communities. 
  • First Lady Melania Trump spoke in the Rose Garden about getting rid of the stigma around mental health issues and substance abuse, both of which are getting worse during the coronavirus pandemic. Over the course of the pandemic, loneliness, isolation, substance abuse, and risk of suicide have increased. 
  • President Trump is for protecting preexisting conditions, although the Trump administration is currently trying to nullify the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits insurance plans from rejecting a patient based on preexisting conditions.  
  • The Trump administration wants to cut prescription drug prices, having recently issued four executive orders on drug pricing.
  • Another key health issue for the Republicans is to work to end surprise medical billing
  • Republicans want to move critical drug and medical device manufacturing the the U.S.  

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