Slideshow Where do the presidential frontrunners stand on health care?

  • November 03 2015, 7:15am EST


Candidates have advocated for everything from repealing the ACA to lowering the cost of prescription drugs to reducing the role of government. With one year to go before the 2016 presidential election, here’s where the top seven candidates — listed in alphabetical order — stand on health care issues.

Editor's note: The candidates featured were polling at 5% or better, according to a recent NBC News Online poll.

For the Republican’s poll, click here.

For the Democrat’s poll, click here.

If you would like to view this slideshow in article format, please click here.

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Jeb Bush (R)

Health care plan, according to Bush’s campaign Website:

To promote innovation in health care; reduce costs and enable portable, secure coverage for all Americans; and return health care control to the states.

“If we’re going to fix health care in this country, we need to wrest control away from Washington and give it back to the states, citizens and their care providers,” according to Bush. “Entrepreneurs should be liberated to innovate in ways that lower costs and improve access to care — just like American ingenuity does in other sectors of the economy.” (Source: New Hampshire Union Leader op-ed)

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Ben Carson (R)

Health care plan, according to Carson’s campaign Website:

To re-establish a strong relationship between patients and physicians; support HSAs; and reduce government involvement in health care.

Carson wouldn’t eliminate Medicare and Medicaid, but that he would provide HSAs as an alternative, he recently told Fox News. “Using health savings accounts starting from the time you are born until the time you die, largely eliminates the need for people to be dependent on government programs like that.”

Carson is in favor of replacing the ACA, but does support one part of the health care law: “I think the banning of people being turned away from health insurance because of pre-existing conditions is one of very few bright spots in an otherwise horribly written law,” he wrote on Facebook.

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Hillary Clinton (D)

Health care plan, according to Clinton’s campaign Website:

To defend the ACA; reduce out-of-pocket costs; reduce the cost of prescription drugs; transform the health care system to reward value and quality; expand access to rural Americans; and ensure women have reproductive health care.

“Under my plan, drug companies who want to keep getting federal support will have to redirect more of their profits into meaningful investments in research and development,” Clinton said in September at a community forum in Iowa. “That will mean more breakthroughs, more good drugs, not fewer.” (Source: CNN)

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Ted Cruz (R)

Health care plan, according to Cruz’s Senate Website:

He is in favor of repealing and replacing the ACA. His health care plan would repeal Title 1 of the ACA, which would eliminate the mandate to buy insurance. His plan would also enable policies to be sold across state lines.

“Every last word of Obamacare must be repealed,” Cruz said in March. “And while we continue that fight, we must also send bill after bill to the president's desk to stop its harmful effects. The Health Care Choice Act will reduce costs, force insurers to compete for business and empower consumers to choose a health plan that meets their needs.”

[Image: Bloomberg]

Marco Rubio (R)

Health care plan, according Rubio’s op-ed in Politico:

He is in favor of repealing and replacing the ACA. His health plan would create a refundable tax credit that Americans can use to buy health insurance; reform regulations to lower costs, encourage innovation and protect the vulnerable; and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid via reform.

“ObamaCare’s failures should be all the proof Washington needs that the time has come for a new direction — one that empowers the American consumer, expands choices, and reduces the role of the federal government in health care.”

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Bernie Sanders (D)

Health care plan, according to Sanders’ campaign Website:

Sanders wants to reduce the cost of prescription drugs by negotiating a better deal with drug companies; importing prescriptions from Canada; restoring discounts for low-income seniors; prohibiting deals that keep generic drugs off the market; enacting stronger penalties for fraud; and requiring pricing and cost transparency.

“Americans pay, by far, the highest prices for prescription drugs in the entire world. When we talk about health care, we are talking about the need of the American people to be able to afford the medicine their health care providers prescribe. A life-saving drug does no good if the people who need it cannot afford that drug.”

[Image: Bloomberg]

Donald Trump (R)

Health care plan, according to an interview with Forbes:

Trump is in favor “a universal ‘market-based’ plan that would offer a range of choices,” according to a Trump spokesperson. “Mr. Trump will be proposing a health plan that will return authority to the states and operate under free market principles. Mr. Trump’s plan will provide choice to the buyer, provide individual tax relief for health insurance and keep plans portable and affordable. The plan will break the health insurance company monopolies and allow individuals to buy across state lines.”

[Image: Bloomberg]