Democratic Party on Health Care

Party Platform


Free coronavirus testing, treatment, & vaccines for everyone

We must start by making COVID-19 testing widely available and free to everyone. We must expand funding so state and local public health departments can hire sufficient staff to conduct contact tracing for everyone who tests positive for the novel coronavirus. Democrats support making COVID-19 testing, treatment, & any eventual vaccines free to everyone, regardless of wealth, insurance coverage, or immigration status. We are all only as safe from this disease as are the most vulnerable among us.
Source: Democratic Party Platform adopted at 2020 Convention , Jul 27, 2020

Provide affordable public option through ACA

We will give all Americans the choice to select a high-quality, affordable public option through the Affordable Care Act marketplace. The public option will provide at least one plan choice without deductibles; and will cover all primary care without any co-payments and control costs just like Medicare. Everyone will be eligible to choose the public option or another Affordable Care Act marketplace plan.
Source: Democratic Party Platform adopted at 2020 Convention , Jul 27, 2020

AdWatch: Trump called coronavirus "their hoax" & "fake news"

[TV ad, "Failed to Act"]

Voiceover: The warnings were there

Headline: Before Virus Outbreak, a Cascade of Warnings Went Unheeded

Voice: Millions of Americans at risk

Text: 10 million Americans were expected to become ill

Voice: But Donald Trump failed to act

Video: Donald Trump smiling for interview

Text: Jan.22: 6 cases

Reporter: "Are you worried about a pandemic at this point?"

Trump: "No, not at all; we have it under control; it's gonna be just fine."

CNN headline 2/25: Top officials are warning that the spread of the coronavirus in the US appears "inevitable."

Text: Feb.26: 257 cases

Reporter: "Do you agree with that assessment?"

Trump: "Well I don't think it's 'inevitable.'"

Politico headline 2/28: On coronavirus fears: President Trump blaming the "fake news"

Trump: "This is their new hoax."

Text: Mar.3: 359 cases; more than 20 deaths

[Note: Trump sued over the use of the word "hoax," noting that it referred to the Democratic response, not the virus]

Source: American Bridge AdWatch on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Mar 21, 2020

No arbitrary insurer cancelation; yes pre-existing condition

We believe accessible, affordable, high quality health care is part of the American promise, that Americans should have the security that comes with good health care, and that no one should go broke because they get sick. We enacted landmark reforms that are already helping millions of Americans, and more benefits will come soon.

As a result of our efforts, today, young Americans entering the workforce can stay on their parents' plans. Insurers can no longer refuse to cover kids with pre-existing medical conditions. Insurance companies will no longer be able to arbitrarily cap and cancel coverage, or charge women more simply because of their gender.

Soon, working families will finally have the security of knowing they won't lose health care or be forced into bankruptcy if a family member gets sick or loses their job. And soon, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform , Sep 4, 2012

Preserve promise of Medicare; don't privatize or voucherize

America's seniors have earned their Medicare and Social Security through a lifetime of hard work and personal responsibility. President Obama is committed to preserving that promise for this and future generations.

The Republican budget plan would end Medicare as we know it. Democrats adamantly oppose any efforts to privatize or voucherize Medicare; unlike our opponents we will not ask seniors to pay thousands of dollars more every year while they watch the value of their Medicare benefits evaporate. Democrats believe that Medicare is a sacred compact with our seniors. Nearly 50 million older Americans and Americans with disabilities rely on Medicare each year, and the new health care law makes Medicare stronger by adding new benefits, fighting fraud, and improving care for patients. And, over 10 years, the law will save the average Medicare beneficiary $4,200.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform , Sep 4, 2012

Make sure everyone has access to affordable health care

We will join 36 other industrialized nations in making sure everyone has access to affordable health care, starting by fixing the prescription drug program and investing in stem cell and other medical research.

In the wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth, no one should have to choose between taking their child to a doctor and paying the rent. Democrats are committed to making sure every single American has access to affordable, effective health care coverage. We want to fix the disastrous Medicare Part D and ensure our seniors can afford their prescription drugs.

We also believe in investing in life saving stem cell and other medical research that offers real hope for cures and treatment for millions of Americans.

Source: 2006 Democratic Party Congressional Promise , Nov 1, 2006

Bush’s Medicare Rx program helps companies more than seniors

The current Medicare drug program serves drug companies more than seniors. It allows these companies to change the price of prescriptions more frequently than seniors can change their plans. It does virtually nothing to bring down prescription drug costs. It forces seniors into HMOs. Elderly Americans deserve a real prescription drug benefit - one that uses the government’s purchasing power to lower costs and ensures access to new therapies for their illnesses.
Source: The Democratic Platform for America, p.28 , Jul 10, 2004

Expand coverage and cut healthcare costs

Expanding coverage. Under the leadership of John Kerry and John Edwards, we will offer individuals and businesses tax credits to make quality, reliable health coverage more affordable. We will provide tax credits to Americans who are approaching retirement age and those who are between jobs so they can afford quality, reliable coverage. We will expand coverage for low income adults through existing federal-state health care programs. And we will provide all Americans with access to the same coverage that members of Congress give themselves.

Cutting health care costs. At the center of our efforts will be a plan to reduce health costs. We will lift a financial burden on families, businesses, and the self-employed by picking up the tab for the highest-cost medical cases. That will save America’s families up to $1,000 on their premiums.

Source: The Democratic Platform for America, p.28 , Jul 10, 2004

Every American should have affordable health insurance

We must redouble efforts to bring the uninsured into coverage. We should guarantee access to affordable health care for every child. We should expand coverage to working families. We seek to ensure that dislocated workers are provided affordable care. We should make health care affordable for small businesses. In addition, Americans aged 55 to 65 should be allowed to buy into the Medicare program to get the coverage they need.
Source: 2000 Democratic National Platform as adopted by the DNC , Aug 15, 2000

Add prescription drug benefit to Medicare

It is time we ended the tragedy of elderly Americans being forced to choose between meals and medication. It is time we modernized Medicare with a prescription drug benefit. With the number of Americans on Medicare expected to double in the next 35 years, Al Gore has taken responsibility by proposing a Medicare Lock Box that would insure Medicare surpluses are used for Medicare.
Source: 2000 Democratic National Platform as adopted by the DNC , Aug 15, 2000

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Page last updated: Feb 24, 2022