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    Health Care Reform:

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    Where the Candidates Stand on Health Care Issues

    Jan. 29, 2016 -- Although terrorism and the economy have topped Americans’ list of concerns in recent polls, health care is still on voters’ minds.

    WebMD looked at where presidential hopefuls from both parties stand on various health care issues, including the health care reform law (called the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare"), Medicare and Medicaid, the price of prescription drugs, and abortion. Candidates included are those who have finished in the top 5 of any of the early primaries and are still in the race.

    Here’s what they said off and on the podium on these topics. If the candidate has not spoken about a topic or offered information on his or her web site, it will say “No information available.”

    The Republican Candidates

    Ben Carson


    • Repeal it, and replace it with “health empowerment accounts” (HEAs), which will be opened for every citizen when they get their social security number. Individuals can contribute to their HEA tax free and use the money to pay for health care costs for themselves or a family member. Unused contributions remain in the HEA from year to year and transfer across state lines and throughout changes in employment.

    Drug prices: No information available.

    Health care costs: The health empowerment accounts will be paired with a high-deductible health plan to cover catastrophic medical expenses.


    • Require all people who use this program ("beneficiaries") to choose a private Medicare insurance plan using a fixed contribution. If a beneficiary chooses a plan that costs less than the government contribution, the remainder would go into their HEA. If the plan costs more than the federal contribution, the beneficiary could use HEA to pay the remainder of the premium.
    • Gradually raise the eligibility age from 65 to 70.
    • Medicare beneficiaries would be able to use their HEAs to pay for out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles, and copayments.


    • Give all Medicaid beneficiaries the option of enrolling in a private insurance plan.
    • Give states “fixed-dollar support,” also known as block grants, to pay premiums for the private plan.
    • Give enrollees “seed money” in their HEAs to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses like deductibles and copayments.

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