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Chris Christie

Christie | Health Policy | (section page)

Entitlement Spending


“Protecting Health Benefits For Today’s And Tomorrow’s Seniors”

Governor Christie proposes “keeping it simple - if you can afford to pay more for your health benefits you will and if you can’t, you won’t.”

  • Expanding Existing Premium Means Testing: expanding the existing sliding scale for Medicare premiums for higher-income seniors
    • Seniors with a $85,000 a year income will pay 40% of premium costs, increasing it to 90% above $196,000 a year.
    • Greater cost-sharing through higher income-related premiums will also be applied to the drug prescription program Medicare Part D.
  • Rasing the Eligibility Age at a Gradual Rate:Just as with Social Security, the Medicare program must be adjusted to reflect the longer, healthier and more productive lives Americans are living. Governor Christie proposes increasing the Medicare eligibility by one month per year so that by 2040 it would be 67 years old, and by 2064 would be 69 years old.
  • Creating Uniform, Single Combined Deductible:
    • Creating a uniform single annual deductible of $550, with a uniform coinsurance rate of 20% above the deductible.
    • Providing catastrophic protection for seniors with just a 5% cost-share after out of pocket expenses reach $5,500 in a year, and a hard cap of $7,500 a year in cost-sharing. This will save money for the Medicare system while also providing greater protection against catastrophic costs for seniors.



“Empowering States To Focus On Better Services For The Individual”

Governor Christie proposes “making the program less complicated, easier and more focused on how to serve people.”

  • Providing States with a Per Capita Allocation To Fund The Program: Under Governor Christie’s proposal, per capita caps are indexed to the number of enrollees in Medicaid, giving each state a set amount of funds per individual enrollee. The Governor also proposes to adjust this amount for inflation going forward. Under such an arrangement, Medicaid would continue to provide more funding for states and low-income individuals when the economy is doing poorly and unemployment increases. By implementing a per capita cap system, all states will have increased freedom to tailor Medicaid programs.
    • Simplifying the Waiver Process: Under the current system, states have to wait months to receive waiver approval in order to shape their Medicaid program to fit the specific needs of their state and people. The Governor is calling for a simplified waiver process where “waiver templates” of what has worked in one state, to make them easy to approve in another.
  • Better Coordinating Care For Dual Eligibles: Over 9 million low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. And while these individuals represent just 13% of enrollees in either program, they account for 27% of all Medicare spending and 40% of Medicaid spending. These individuals would be better served if they received their coverage through a managed care organization. This will allow the services provided to them to be better coordinated through singular oversight across the spectrum of health care funding streams.
  • Requiring a Modest Copay for Those Above the Poverty Line. Governor Christie proposes that those Medicaid with incomes above 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) would have a $10 copay for a doctor’s visit and a $20 copay for a hospital visit. This will introduce economics into the health care purchase decision and encourage rational use of health care resources.


Disability Insurance

“Refocusing Assistance To Put People Back to Work” Gov. Christie proposes “focusing on ways to help those beneficiaries who can keep working to return to the workforce and encouraging rehabilitation in lieu of permanent disability.”

  • Focusing On Remaining In The Workforce: Similar to reforms enacted in The Netherlands, for individuals applying for disability benefits the goal should be to find solutions that keep people in the labor force and living productive lives. “Reforms in The Netherlands have had the effect of reducing the flow of new disability beneficiaries by 60% in 6 years.”
    • Workplace Solutions And Rehabilitation: Require applicants to first work directly with employers and rehabilitation specialists to create a plan and explore alternatives and accommodations that can be made to address their specific needs in their current workplace.
    • Employer Incentives: Offer tax incentives that encourage employers to invest in prevention, accommodation and rehabilitation services for their workers as well as to provide short-term private disability insurance.
  • Incentivizing Individuals To Get Back To Work: Governor Christie proposes reforming the DI program to encourage people to get back into the workforce by speeding up the qualification review process, updating the requirements for recency of work and for returning to work, as well as increasing funding for continuing reviews. At the same time the program should encourage vocational rehab, wage subsidies and preventive care services to keep an individual working with additional support.


Healthcare for Veterans

Christie is committed to our nation’s veterans and providing them with the healthcare they’ve been promised.


Governor Christie believes veterans should be able to receive their health care benefit from any medical institution. Private sector and nonprofit hospitals want to be engaged in veteran health care and they should be brought in to supplement treatment delivered from veterans’ hospitals.


As President, Christie would hire a qualified professional who has run a major healthcare system in this country to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The majority of the role of the VA has become that of a healthcare provider and therefore needs someone who knows how to meet the mission of providing adequate and timely care.

  • 24/7 HOTLINE:


In New Jersey, Governor Christie’s administration established a 24 hours a day 7 days a week hotline manned by mental health professionals as well as veteran volunteers. Governor Christie supports creating a similar nationwide hotline to act as a resource for veterans experiencing mental health issues when they get home. (CCWER)

Donald Trump

Trump's Health Policy (section page):

Trump has flipped between pro-choice and pro-life. Now considers himself pro-life. (DTS)


  • "I support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and urge Congress to pass this bill. A ban on elective abortions after 20 weeks will protect unborn children. We should not be one of seven countries that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks. It goes against our core values." (DTI)

Bernie Sanders

Bernie's Health Policy (section page)

"I want to end the international embarrassment of the United States of America being the only major country on earth that doesn't guarantee health care to all people as a right and not a privilege." - Bernie Sanders (HP)

Bernie believes in guaranteeing healthcare as a right of citizenship by enacting a medicare for all single-payer healthcare system. He also favors enacting universal childcare and prekindergarten policy. (BSWII)

In Bernie's system the rich pay more in order to ensure that health care is a right not a privilege. He claims we must join the rest of the modern world with universal healthcare. Statistically America spends more per person on Healthcare than any other advanced nation in the world, but ends up with less. He argues that providing universal health care is a morally principled and financially responsible decision. He will also fight to lower prescription drug policies. (BSWHC)

Sanders is also in favor of expanding the VA so that every veteran can receive the care they need, both mental and physical. (BSWV)

"We should not be the only major country on Earth that does not guarantee health care to all of our people as a right of citizenship and we should not be the only major country that does not provide medical and — and parental leave — family and parental leave to all of our families." (DD1)

Rand Paul

Paul's Health Policy (section page)

U.S. Health Care System

Overall attitude towards U.S. health care/Obamacare:

  • Advocate of repealing Obamacare, in favor of free-market principles/against over-regulation of health care market/opposes any government-run health care system (RPW - HP)
  • Supports making all medical expenses tax deductible, allowing insurance to be bought across state lines, tort reform (state-level), and removing the high-deductible insurance policy requirement to access to Health Savings Accounts (OTI - HP)

Free Market Policies in Health Care

"As a doctor, I have had firsthand experience with the immense problems facing health care in the United States. Prior to the implementation of Obamacare, our health care system was over-regulated and in need of serious market reforms—but Obamacare is not the answer." (RPW - HP)

"As your President, I will ensure that real free-market principles are applied to the American health care system so that it is responsive to patients, families, and doctors, rather than government bureaucracy." (RPW - HP)

Other Issues in Health Care

  • Protect vitamin manufacturers from regulation
  • Get rid of mandatory mental health screening in schools
  • Encourages vaccinations, allows for religious exemptions:

"Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom and public health."

(OTI - HP)

Sanctity of Life

" I believe that life begins at conception and that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being. Under the 14th Amendment, it is the government’s duty to protect life as defined in our Constitution."(RPW- HP)

"Our government should not be responsible for funding abortions, and as President, I will attempt to stop the flow of taxpayer dollars to groups who perform or advocate for abortion." (RPW- HP)

"As a physician, one of the first things we learn is to ‘Do no harm.’ Since Roe v. Wade decision, over 50 million children have been killed in abortion procedures. As President, I would strongly support legislation restricting federal courts from hearing cases like Roe v. Wade, in an effort to stop harming the lives of the unborn." (RPW- HP)

"I believe we may be able to save millions of lives, and do no harm, by allowing states to pass their own anti-abortion laws. By giving this power to the states, I sincerely believe we would save hundreds of thousands of lives." (RPW- HP)

Ted Cruz

Cruz's Health Policy (section page)

Health Initiatives

  • Repeal Obamacare, open insurance markets across state lines, expand health savings accounts, delink health insurance from employment (TCS)
  • Sponsored a bill called the Health Care Choices Act which allows people to buy health care plans across state lines (TCS)
    • HCCA also repeals Title I of the Affordable Health Care Act (TCS)
    • HCCA amend the Public Health Service Act (TCS)
  • "We must save Medicare by gradually increasing the eligibility age and by moving to a premium support system that expands choices for seniors, opens up innovation, and utilizes market forces to rein in healthcare costs." (OTIHC)
  • Supports the right for private organizations to deny contraceptive/abortion coverage to their employees if it conflicts with their personal beliefs (TCS)

Abortion and Planned Parenthood

  • "The next thing I intend to do is instruct the Department of Justice to open an investigation... to prosecute Planned Parenthood for any criminal violations." (RD1)
  • Supports the complete defunding of Planned Parenthood (TCWLLF)


  • Cruz said that “of course” children should be vaccinated but thinks that which ones should be legally mandated be left up to the states (POLITICO)
  • Some exceptions should still exist for religious conviction (POLITICO)

Ben Carson

Carson's Health Policy (section page)

Repeal and replace Affordable Care Act

"Obamacare has damaged the American health care system. Premiums have skyrocketed across the nation while people are receiving worse health care. [Carson plans] on repealing and replacing Obamacare with Health Empowerment Accounts (HEAs) that give people...control of where, how and with whom they wish to spend their health care dollars. HEAs will help to lower premiums and ensure that Americans can choose the health care providers they actually want to ensure improved health outcomes. Alongside HEAs, Americans will also have access to high deductible, catastrophic insurance that will cover regular doctor visits, as well as more challenging health circumstances." (BCWHC)

Ben Carson's HEA healthcare plan would include:

  • First-dollar coverage for out-of-pocket expenses and premiums to buy the insurance of the patient's choice
  • Transferable between family members (BCWHC)
  • Give Medicare beneficiaries a fixed contribution to purchase the health insurance of their preference (BCWHC)
  • Increase the eligibility age for Medicare by 2 months each year until it reaches age 70 (BCWHC)
  • Give Medicaid beneficiaries Health Empowerment Accounts (HEA) to provide first-dollar coverage, supplemented by a major medical insurance plan of the patient’s choice (BCWHC)
  • Fix Medicaid by providing fixed-dollar support to the states, which must use the funds for premium payments and HEAs for beneficiaries (BCWHC)

Veteran Healthcare

  • "Our Veterans deserve the best health care we can offer. The health care neglect that many of our Veterans have faced is not what they earned while defending our freedom. As president, I will reform the VA and ensure that our Veterans receive the high quality health care they deserve. All Veterans should be allowed to receive health care at a hospital or with a health care provider they choose." (BCWVHC)

Vaccination proponent

"Vaccination is an important public health issue. Overall, vaccines have had a positive health impact for many Americans. It is very important to protect ourselves from serious diseases like polio that would be devastating if they returned to the United States. Effective, long-tested vaccines can prevent the spread of common diseases such as the flu and measles, while also helping to preclude future outbreaks. I have listened to concerns about the safety of vaccines, yet the comprehensive research on many longstanding vaccines reflects their safety and efficacy for most people." (BCWV)

Pro-Life, in favor of abolishing Planned Parenthood

  • "As a former pediatric neurosurgeon, I have dedicated my life to saving and improving the lives of children. I am committed to protecting innocent lives, especially when they are most vulnerable. The sanctity of life is something that we must wholeheartedly promote and enforce. For far too long, we have become callous to the slaughter of innocents." (BCWPP)
  • "As a society, we have allowed our sensitivities to be dulled and our disregard for the sanctity of life to grow. The very existence of such an organization as Planned Parenthood is proof of this and the recent videos that exposed them confirm that trend. In our country, we need to invest in better care for women, instead of providing federal funding to a corrupt organization that has been involved in abhorent practices." (BCWPP)

Carly Fiorina

Fiorina's Health Policy (section page)

Repeal Affordable Care Act

  • Affordable Care Act not the solution (CFWHC)
  • "We were promised improved access and higher-quality care, but the complexity of Obamacare is preventing the very competition that would allow more and better options for patients." (CFWHC)
  • Repeal Affordable Care Act and replace with plans [1] [2] she claims "protect those with pre-existing conditions in state-run high-risk pools, reduces costs, protects religious liberty, and moves us closer to the one thing we've never tried before: real competition." (CFWHC)


Cancer survivor

Rick Santorum

Rick's Health Policy (section page)

Abortion Policy

  • Pro life - every life matters (RSWL)
  • "I've never supported criminalization of abortion for mothers, but I do for people who perform them. I believe that life is sacred...” (RSA)

Entitlement Programs

  • Introduce work requirements for means-tested entitlement programs, including the federal food stamps program (RSWTR)
  • Cut means-tested entitlement programs by 10% across the board, freeze them for four years,and block grant them to States (RSWTR)

Fully Repeal Obamacare

  • Reform and strengthen Medicare and Social Security so they are fiscally sustainable for seniors and future generations (RSWTR)
  • Change Medicaid to block-grant system (OTIHC)
  • Get rid of Obamacare so small insurers can operate more effectively (OTIHC)

John Kasich

Kasich | Health Policy | (section page)

Reform Entitlement Programs:

The cost of entitlement programs like Medicaid and Medicare are growing uncontrollably and must be fundamentally reformed to reduce their growth rates and become more efficient while still providing the services that Americans want and need.

  • Medicaid: Providing per-member per-month allocations to the states, along with the flexibility to innovate and tailor their programs to their individual health care markets, can help hold Medicaid’s spending growth to 3 percent annually.
  • Medicare: Increasing care coordination through Medicare Advantage, as well as other changes like reforming payment practices to increase value and quality, can help restrain Medicare spending to an average of 5.3 percent annually.
  • Social Security: Social Security’s fiscal health is deteriorating rapidly and it will soon be unable to meet its obligations to retirees. John Kasich’s balanced budget framework does not include changes to Social Security or its benefits to achieve balance, nor does it include the costs of filling Social Security’s deficits. As President he will lead a bipartisan Paid for by Kasich for America, 2 effort to assemble the best ideas from the various reform plans that have been proposed to preserve its solvency. Most important, he will draw upon his experience as a reformer to bring people together and lead them to have the courage we need to save this important program for America’s seniors.


Martin O'Malley

O'Malley's Health Policy (section page)


  • Encourage states to adopt comprehensive payment reform and consider options like hospital global budgeting, patient-centered medical homes, and accountable care organizations (MOW-HC)
    • Supports an "all-payer" system (PBS)
  • Improve the value of Medicare (MOW-HC)
    • Launch a "Medicare Essential" program to provide comprehensive benefits (hospital, physician, prescription drug, supplemental coverage) in one opt-in plan
  • Increase support for primary care and promote widespread adoption of medical homes (MOW-HC)
  • Require clarity in healthcare billing and fairness for the uninsured (MOW-HC)
  • Enforce anti-trust law to counter dramatic price increases (MOW-HC)
  • Fight against corporate tax inversions (MOW-HC)
  • Ban price gouging for prescription drugs (MOW-HC)
  • Use the government's purchasing power to ensure reasonable drug prices (MOW-HC)
  • Invest in health information exchanges (MOW-HC)
  • Expand patients' access to their own health data (MOW-HC)
  • Prioritize data security in the transition to electronic medical records (MOW-HC)

Expanded Access to Care

  • Build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (MOW-HC)
    • Ensure access to affordable healthcare for immigrants
    • Work with states to close the "coverage gap"
    • Extend access for working families and their children
    • Treat multi-employer and high-cost plans fairly
    • Address high deductibles by covering critical services
  • Support universal access to reproductive care (MOW-HC)
    • Promote universal access to prenatal care and family planning
    • Believes abortions should be legal without any intrusion or interference from the government (OTI)
  • Set a goal for universal access to primary, behavioral, and oral health care, supported by renewed investment in community health centers (MOW-HC)
  • Eradicate lead poisoning by restoring funding for state programs and creating an interagency task force to find solutions to keep children healthy (MOW-HC)
  • Reduce diseases and premature deaths caused by air pollution (MOW-HC)
  • Mobilize communities to address the cause of health disparities (MOW-HC)
  • Expand the National Health Service Corps and Area Health Education Centers and invest in the next generation of the health care workforce (MOW-HC)
  • Task the Department of Health and Human Services with developing the basis for states, health systems, and health care providers for progress in health equity (MOW-HC)

Cures and Healthier Lives

  • Invest in NIH and FDA research (MOW-HC)
  • Support promising therapies at every step of development (MOW-HC)
  • Release clinical trial data to advance scientific discovery (MOW-HC)
  • Invest in early childhood health (MOW-HC)
    • Provide stable funding for the ACA's Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program
  • Build on the ACA (MOW-HC)
    • Protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund
  • Renew focus on preventing and treating infectious diseases (MOW-HC)
    • Set goals for disease prevalence for diseases like HIV, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis
  • Reauthorize and fully fund the Older Americans Act (MOW-HC)
  • Require Medicare and Medicaid programs to create a consistent set of incentives to encourage community-based care (MOW-HC)
  • Encourage physicians to speak with their patients regarding end of life care and support the implementation of patient wishes (MOW-HC)

Mental Health and Addiction

  • Invest in strong community health systems (MOW-HC)
  • Integrate behavioral health and physical health care (MOW-HC)
    • Introduce new incentives through Medicare and Medicaid to increase ease of access to behavioral health care
  • Stop the criminalization of mental illness (MOW-HC)

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee's Health Policy (section page)

"We need to remember that there is no controversy about the things that are driving medical costs. The next president ought to declare a war on cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's, because those are the four things that are causing the greatest cost. I remember the polio vaccine. We saved billions of dollars since that time, because we haven't had to treat for polio. Why doesn't this country focus on cures rather than treatment? We change the economy and the country." (RD2)

"ObamaCare is a $2.2 trillion disaster that dumps millions of people into a broken, expensive system and does nothing to fix the basic problems everyday Americans face. We must tackle out-of-control costs.ObamaCare raided $700 billion from Medicare. This is not reform — it’s theft. We must reject government dependency. We need solutions and choices — not government mandates and new taxes. We must address pre-existing conditions with common sense. As a governor, I know these issues first hand. Our system of “sick care” is upside down. Doctors, hospitals and drug companies get paid for treating people who are sick — not keeping people healthy or preventing illnesses. So many Americans cannot afford to get sick, while others take advantage of a system that isn’t fair. ObamaCare simply doubles down on this backwards, broken, flawed and failing system. We need honesty, leadership and real reform. As President, I will repeal ObamaCare and fight for real health care reform." (MHWH)

Marco Rubio

Rubio's Health Policy (section page)

Repealing and Replacing ObamaCare

  • Expand access to affordable, quality health coverage by providing every American with an advanceable, refundable tax credit that can be used to purchase insurance. (MRWHC)
  • Promote innovation in the Medicaid program by giving states a per-capita block grant, which preserves funding for Medicaid’s unique populations (MRWHC)
  • Wants to keep traditional medicare and medicaid advantages for Seniors (MRWHC)
  • Give Seniors a choice between a variety of private plans (MRWHC)
  • Move Medicaid to a per capita block grant system (MRWHC)
  • Reform insurance regulations to lower costs and develop state-based high risk pools for individuals with pre-existing conditions (Politico)

Hillary Clinton

Clinton's Health Policy (section page):

  • Affordable health care is a basic human right. (HC)
    • In 1979, Hillary chaired the Arkansas Rural Health Advisory Committee, which focused on expanding health care access to isolated rural areas of the state.(HC)
    • As first lady, she worked with Republicans and Democrats to help create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which now provides health coverage to more than 8 million children.(HC)
    • As senator, she introduced legislation to reduce the cost of health insurance expenses.(HC)
    • Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Hillary pushed the Bush administration for $20 billion for recovery and to address health care needs of first responders who suffered lasting health effects from their time at Ground Zero.(HC)
  • Going forward, Hillary will build on these efforts and fight to ensure that the savings from these reforms benefits families.(HC)
    • Defend the Affordable Care Act. She'll build on it to expand affordable coverage, slow the growth of overall healthcare costs (including prescription drugs), and make it possible for providers to deliver the very best care to patients.(HC)
    • Lower out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles. (HC)
    • Reduce the cost of prescription drugs. (HC)
    • Transform our healthcare system to reward value and quality. Hillary is committed to building on delivery system reforms in the Affordable Care Act that improve value and quality care for Americans.(HC)
  • Hillary will also work to expand access to rural Americans, who often have difficulty finding quality, affordable health care. She will explore cost-effective ways to broaden the scope of health care providers eligible for telehealth reimbursement under Medicare and other programs, including federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics. She will also call for states to support efforts to streamline licensing for telemedicine and examine ways to expand the types of services that qualify for reimbursement.(HC)
    • Hillary is continuing a lifelong fight to ensure women have access to reproductive health care. As senator, she championed access to emergency contraception and voted in favor of strengthening a woman’s right to make her own health decisions. As president, she will continue defending Planned Parenthood, which provides critical health services including breast exams and cancer screenings to 2.7 million women a year.(HC)

Jeb Bush

Bush's Health Policy (section page)

Repeal and Replace Obamacare

Jeb bush wants to repeal Obamacare and says that it was "a failure from the start"(JBS-A), and take away health control power from the federal government and give it to the states. He believes that states should have the freedom and responsibility to tailor their health care plans to their state and make insurance markets more competitive. He also does not agree with all the mandates that come along with the Affordable Care Act, and hopes to put people in a position "where their empowered to make more decisions for themselves"(JBS-A).

Encourage Inovation

Bush wants to modernize the Food and Drug Administration, as well as make "medical record keeping more efficient sharable and secure".(JBS-A) He claims that the current health care is over regulated, adding higher costs and complexity to the system.(JBW-HC)

Bush's Plan

  • Provide a tax credit for those without employer coverage (JBS-A)
  • Make it easier for small businesses to provide coverage for their employees with tax deductions. (JBS-A)
  • Have transparent information for people to make decisions for themselves (JBS-A)
  • Open up the insurance market place and "break down the insurance monopolies and let people by health insurance designed for what they actually want".(JBS-A)

On Abortion

" I'm the most pro-life governor on this stage. Life is a gift from God. And from beginning end we need to respect it and err on the side of life. And so I defunded Planned Parenthood. And I would bring that philosophy to Washington."(OTI-A)