Each US administration has arguably supported a different type of healthcare system (Davies, 2013). The sitting president, in a bid to ensure that Americans get a comprehensive health care plan, often devises his own system that is supported by the president’s party. For instance, a healthcare system fronted by a Democrat President will have the ideals of the Democratic Party as its foundation. This paper will compare the health care reforms and plans of the George Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations to understand the differences between different health care systems.
The Affordable Care Act, proposed by the Obama administration and popularly known as the Obamacare, was passed in 2010. At the time of its adoption by Congress, the number of people who did not have any form of health insurance in the US was 47 million. However, after being passed, that number decreased to 28 million. The Trump administration, while maintaining the features of Obamacare, cut down on funding, which analysts predict will leave approximately 52 million people without any form of medical insurance by 2026.
President Bush’s administration, on the other hand, unlike the two governments, discussed above, did not focus on universal health coverage. It can be argued that former president Bush supported conservative policies, and so for 10 years the funding for health insurance stood at a mere $365 billion. The stated number is half what both the Obama and Trump healthcare systems had.
Under the Trump and Bush administrations, universal insurance coverage was affected profoundly by lack of needed finances and political goodwill (Levey, 2017). It is also important to note that under the Obamacare medical insurers were not allowed to deny, or charge more, for pre-existing medical conditions.
Obamacare ensured that companies with more than 50 employees provided medical insurance to their employees. Companies that did not comply were penalized. The stated statute changed under the Trump administration, where penalties were removed, and businesses were allowed to choose whether they wanted to provide the insurance coverage or not. Under the Bush administration, providing medical insurance for employees was also optional. Additionally, while Obamacare raised Medicare taxes by calculating premiums based on income, Trumpcare calculates premiums based on age (Trumpcare vs. Obamacare, n.d).
Despite the differences, the three mentioned administrations have some similarities based on their different health care plans. For instance, Obamacare penalized people without medical insurance through the tax penalty, and the concept is also present in Trumpcare. In the Trump administration, people who do not have medical coverage for up to 63 days must pay 30% more in insurance premiums for a year when they renewed it.
Notably, the Trump administration increased federal funding to states by $45 million for combating the opioid endemic, which is significantly more than Obama’s $2 million a year. Under the Bush administration, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of December 8, 2003 was signed into law. All these acts show a political goodwill for access to better healthcare provision by all.
Health care policies and reforms are crucial and have been useful in ensuring that Americans have access to medical care. These systems all have their pros and cons. The different administrations have shown interest in improving the American health care system, which is currently considered as the most expensive per capita. Each president faces the challenge of making health care more affordable to the people. Looking at the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations, one can pinpoint differences and similarities regarding health care policies and reforms.
Davies, C. K. (2013). Inventing the American presidency. Web.
Levey, N. N. (2017). A side-by-side comparison of Obamacare and the GOP’s replacement plans. Los Angeles Times. Web.
Trumpcare vs Obamacare: What’s the difference? (n.d). The Week. Web.