Exactly How Trump and Clinton Compare on Women’s Health Issues

Donald Trump

Health care reform is one of Trump’s major campaign platforms, and his website outlines a seven-point plan that includes a “complete repeal of ObamaCare,” price transparency from health care providers, and tax deductions for health insurance. It would allow insurance companies to sell across state lines and relies on stricter immigration policies to cut costs spent on health care for undocumented immigrants. The plan also calls for transforming Medicaid into block grants, meaning that the federal government would give each state a fixed amount of money per year, instead of the current system where the federal government pays a portion of state costs, matching what each state is spending on the program. Under Trump’s plan, the block grants may or may not cover the number of people in a given state who require Medicaid coverage, Christopherson explains, which could result in long waiting lists and even people losing their existing insurance.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a big boon to women’s health care access, says Christopherson, as it requires plans to cover preventative care benefits without cost sharing, designates maternity care as a covered essential health benefit, provides access to contraceptive coverage without a copay, and has improved access to Medicaid in 31 states that adopted an expansion. The campaign’s outline does not specify how or if Trump’s plan would address these issues. And the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Budget estimates that the plan would cause 21 million people to lose insurance coverage.

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Hillary Clinton

Clinton has been working on health care reform efforts since the 1990s. Her position calls for protecting and expanding on the ACA, which, according to her website, “has helped address discrimination in our health care system and brought health coverage to millions more women.”

Proposed expansions include working with governors to expand Medicaid in every state, launching a national campaign to enroll people who are eligible but not already enrolled, and allowing families to buy insurance on the health exchanges regardless of their immigration status. Her plan also calls for giving the Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to block or modify unreasonable health insurance premium rate increases, cap out-of-pocket prescription drug costs, give people the choice of a public-option insurance plan in every state, and allow people 55 years or older to opt in to Medicare (currently, you must be 65).

“Many of these proposals on their own would be a major boon for women,” says Christopherson. Plus, a high-uninsured rate in a community can actually mean worse health care and less access even for women who do have insurance, says Christopherson. “And of course, all of these policies taken together would amplify those spillover effects.”