The latest and final Presidential debate was held last week in Nashville, TN. While the tone was a bit more subdued than the previous debate, the candidates held firm to their stances on healthcare. Here are some of the main healthcare points they covered.
While Trump wants to reopen the country, citing the need for economic stability, Biden wants to take safer measures and provide businesses with what they need to reopen safety in their own time. When accused of wanting to shut down the country, the former vice president said: “I’m going to shut down the virus, not the county.”
But fixing the economy and fighting the pandemic can both be accomplished. As Biden said, “We ought to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.”
In order to get the economy back in order, however, it will help to focus on health and safety first. As Dr. Anne Liu stated in a recent Healthline article: “As was predicted in the beginning and as has been demonstrated in countries where the virus was controlled without prolonged shutdown, economic recovery cannot really happen unless the epidemic is controlled.”
Affordable Care Act
Trump maintains that he wants to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with a “brand new, beautiful” healthcare plan which he has yet to outline. The problem with getting rid of the ACA is that millions would lose health coverage.
Biden wants to improve upon Obamacare and remake it as BidenCare, a new plan that includes a public option and provides coverage for preexisting conditions. BidenCare would help reduce drug prices as well as lower premiums and reduce surprise billing.
Trump claimed that under Biden’s plan, millions of people with private healthcare coverage would be kicked off of their coverage. But Biden’s plan would not do that, since it includes both a private and a public option for healthcare coverage.
Medicare and Social Security
Trump accused Biden of wanting to “destroy” Social Security and Medicare with his public option plan. Biden fired back with: “This is the guy who’s tried to cut Medicare. The idea that Donald Trump is lecturing me on Social Security and Medicare? Come on.”
Overall, the latest presidential debate did not seem to sway the audience too far one way or another. It had a calmer tone and was less vitriolic than the previous debate. In his talking points, Trump seemed to cater mostly to his followers, while Biden “appealed to those who may still have been on the fence,” said Lara Brown of the Graduate School of Political Management at the George Washington University.