Comparing Party Platforms
A close examination of each Party’s most recent Platform (2016) reveals its core beliefs and could provide a powerful indication of how that Party’s nominee will vote.
For your convenience, we have broken the lengthy party platforms into digestible portions based on topic and placed them side-by-side for comparison.
Democratic Party Platform
ENSURE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF ALL AMERICANS (p. 30)
Securing Universal Health Care (p. 31)
For too many. . . costs are still too high. . . And medical debt is a problem for far too many working families. . . will also work to end surprise billing and other practices that lead to out-of-control medical debt. . . We will repeal the excise tax on high-cost health insurance and find revenue to offset. . . will keep costs down by making premiums more affordable, reducing out-of-pocket expenses, and capping prescription drug costs. And we will fight against insurers trying to impose excessive premium increases.
Democrats will fight any attempts. . . to privatize, voucherize, or “phase out” Medicare as we know it. And we will oppose Republican plans to slash funding and block grant Medicaid and SNAP. . .
We will keep fighting until the ACA’s Medicaid expansion has been adopted in every state. . .
. . .we will make health equity a central part of our commitment to revitalizing communities left behind. . . all health care services should be culturally and linguistically appropriate, and that neither fear nor immigration status should be barriers. . .
This section was shortened from 507 to 272 words. For full text, see page 31 of the Full 2016 Democratic Party Platform.
Supporting Community Health Centers (p. 31)
Democrats also know that one of the key ingredients to the success of these health centers is a well-supported and qualified workforce in community-based settings. We will fight to train and support this workforce, encourage providers to work with underserved populations through the National Health Service Corps, and create a comprehensive strategy to increase the pool of primary health care professionals.
Reducing Prescription Drug Costs (p. 32)
We will crack down on price gouging. . . cap the amount Americans have to pay out-of-pocket every month. . . prohibit anti-competitive “pay for delay” deals that keep generic drugs off the market. . . allow. . . to import prescription drugs from licensed pharmacies in Canada and other countries with appropriate safety protections. . . fight to make sure that Medicare will negotiate lower prices with drug manufacturers.
This section was shortened from 224 to 177 words. For full text, see page 32 of the Full 2016 Democratic Party Platform.
Enabling Cutting-Edge Medical Research (p. 32)
Combating Drug and Alcohol Addiction (p. 32)
We should also do more to educate our youth, as well as their families, teachers, coaches, mentors, and friends, to intervene early to prevent drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. We should help state and local leaders establish evidence-based, age-appropriate, and locally-tailored prevention programs. These programs include school-based drug education programs. . . community-based peer mentorship and leadership programs; and after-school activities that deter drug use and encourage life skills.
This section was shortened from 248 to 191 words. For full text, see page 32 of the Full 2016 Democratic Party Platform.
Treating Mental Health (p. 33)
Supporting Those Living with Autism and Their Families (p. 33)
those diagnosed in the future and their families a priority. We will conduct a nationwide early screening
outreach campaign to ensure that all children, and in particular children from underserved backgrounds,
can get screened for autism. We will expand services and support for adults and individuals transitioning
into adulthood, including employment and housing assistance. And we will push states to require health
insurance coverage for autism services in private insurance plans as well as state marketplaces so that
people with autism are not denied care.
Securing Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice (p. 33)
We will address the discrimination and barriers that inhibit meaningful access to reproductive health care services. . . We recognize that quality, affordable comprehensive health care, evidence-based sex education and a full range of family planning services help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions.
And we. . . support a woman’s decision to have a child, including by ensuring a safe and healthy pregnancy and childbirth, and by providing services during pregnancy and after the birth of a child. . . as well as protections for women against pregnancy discrimination. We are committed to creating a society where children are safe and can thrive. . . We recognize and support. . . civil structures that are essential to creating this. . .
This section was shortened from 314 to 243 words. For full text, see page 33 of the Full 2016 Democratic Party Platform.
Ensuring Long-Term Care, Services, and Supports (p. 34)
Protecting and Promoting Public Health (p. 34)
We must take a number of proactive steps so that all Americans. . . have the opportunity to live full, healthy lives. . . Health equity among Americans remains elusive. . .We continue to see unacceptable differences in health outcomes by race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. A growing body of research demonstrates the link between social factors—such as poverty, unemployment, experience of discrimination, and housing instability—and poor health. Democrats will continue to pursue policies addressing these social factors and empowering communities to respond to their most pressing health needs.
This section was shortened from 271 to 203 words. For full text, see page 34 of the Full 2016 Democratic Party Platform.
Republican Party Platform
Restoring Patient Control and Preserving Quality in Healthcare (p. 36)
We agree with the four dissenting judges of the Supreme Court: “In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.” It must be removed and replaced with an approach based on genuine competition, patient choice, excellent care, wellness, and timely access to treatment. . .
. . .We must recover the traditional patient-physician relationship based on mutual trust, informed consent, and confidentiality. . . we will reduce mandates and enable insurers and providers of care to increase healthcare options and contain costs. Our goal is to ensure that all Americans have improved access to affordable, high-quality healthcare, including those struggling with mental illness.
We will return to the states their historic role of regulating local insurance markets, limit federal requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid, and call on state officials to reconsider the costly medical mandates. . . that price millions of low-income families out of the insurance market. . . we propose to block grant Medicaid and other payments and to assist all patients. . . to obtain coverage in a robust consumer market. . . Obamacare. . . promoted the notion of abortion as healthcare. We, however, affirm the dignity of women by protecting the sanctity of human life. . .
To ensure vigorous competition in healthcare. . . we will promote price transparency so consumers can know the cost of treatments before they agree to them. We will empower individuals and small businesses to form purchasing pools in order to expand coverage to the uninsured. We believe that individuals with preexisting conditions who maintain continuous coverage should be protected from discrimination. . .
Consumer choice is the most powerful factor in healthcare reform. . . We propose to end tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance and allow consumers to buy insurance across state lines. . . We look to the growth of Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Accounts. . .
Our aging population must have access to safe and affordable care. . . we will make homecare a priority in public policy and will implement programs to protect against elder abuse.
This section was shortened from 695 to 374 words. For full text, see page 36 of the Full 2016 Republican Party Platform.
Protecting Individual Conscience in Healthcare (p. 37)
Better Care and Lower Costs: Tort Reform (p. 37)
Advancing Research and Development in Healthcare (p. 37)
. . .We call for expanded support for the stem cell research that now offers the greatest hope for many afflictions — through adult stem cells, umbilical cord blood, and cells reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells — without the destruction of embryonic human life. We urge a ban on human cloning for research or reproduction, and a ban on the creation of, or experimentation on, human embryos for research. We applaud Congress’ ban on the FDA approval of research involving three-parent embryos. We believe the FDA’s approval of Mifeprex, a dangerous abortifacient formerly known as RU-486, threatens women’s health, as does the agency’s endorsement of over-the-counter sales of powerful contraceptives without a physician’s recommendation. We support cutting federal and state funding for entities that endanger women’s health by performing abortions in a manner inconsistent with federal or state law.
This section was shortened from 309 to 201 words. For full text, see page 37 of the Full 2016 Republican Party Platform.
Putting Patients First: Reforming the FDA (p. 38)
This section was shortened from 309 to 196 words. For full text, see page 38 of the Full 2016 Republican Party Platform.
Advancing Americans with Disabilities (p. 38)
Persons with disabilities are nearly twice as likely to be self-employed as the general population. To encourage their entrepreneurship, it makes sense to include them in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) certification program, which opens up federal contracting for emerging businesses. Any restructuring of the tax code should consider ways in which companies can benefit from the talent and energy of their disabled employees.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has opened up unprecedented opportunities. . . Republicans will lead in its reauthorization, as well as renewal of the Higher Education Act, which can offer students with disabilities increased access to the general curriculum. Our TIME Act (Transition to Integrated and Meaningful Employment) will modernize the Fair Labor Standards Act to encourage competitive employment for persons with disabilities. . .
We oppose the non-consensual withholding of care or treatment from people with disabilities, including newborns, the elderly, and infirm, just as we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, which endanger especially those on the margins of society. . .
This section was shortened from 379 to 211 words. For full text, see page 38 of the Full 2016 Republican Party Platform.
Combatting Drug Abuse (p. 40)
The misuse of prescription painkillers — opioids — is a related problem. . . With a quadrupling of both their sales and their overdose deaths, the opioid crisis is ravaging communities. . . Because over-prescription of drugs is such a large part of the problem, Republican legislation now allows Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans to limit patients to a single pharmacy. Congressional Republicans have also called upon the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to ensure that no physician will be penalized for limiting opioid prescriptions. We look for expeditious agreement between the House and Senate on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which addresses the opioid epidemic from both the demand and supply sides of the problem.
This section was shortened from 249 to 211 words. For full text, see page 40 of the Full 2016 Republican Party Platform.