Boards eye view

What's in store for healthcare in the US when the next president is elected?

President Obama declared that healthcare is a right not a privilege and the Supreme Court upheld that declaration with a 6-3 ruling on the Affordable Care Act in 2015.

US is set to see a change in healthcare
America is set to see changes in healthcare after the presidential election in November.
Photo: Getty Images

This autumn, America will choose a new president and with that, a change in health care. Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton proposes the least change, offering a public-option insurance plan and allowing Americans to enrol in Medicare at age 55.

Families ineligible for Medicare could receive a tax credit for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses; prescription drugs for patients with chronic health conditions would be capped at $US250 (£192) per month and prescription drugs from Canada would be legal.

Clinton v Trump

Clinton also proposes to expand access to early autism screening, establish the Autism Works Initiative to increase the number of employed people with autism and to launch the first-ever adult autism prevalence study.

On the other hand, Republican candidate Donald Trump proposes the greatest change with ‘free market principles’.

This is purported to repeal the Affordable Care Act, reduce barriers to the interstate sale of health insurance, institute a full tax deduction for insurance premium payments for individuals, make Health Saving Accounts inheritable, require price transparency, block-grant Medicaid to the states, and allow for more overseas drug providers through lowered regulatory barriers.

How will this affect us? Will insurance rates increase? Will less people be insured?

The goal of healthcare reform is to improve access to and the quality of care.

Does either candidate’s proposal for change completely support that?

There is much uncertainty in a country that spends a lot of money on health care, making the future of that health care uneasy.

Only time will tell following the presidential Election Day on 8 November. Watch this space.

Rachel Lyons is a clinical associate professor at Rutgers University College of Nursing, Newark, New Jersey, US, and a member of the Emergency Nurse editorial advisory board

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