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Health Policy Resources for Covering the Democratic Presidential Primary Debates

As the Democratic presidential candidates continue to debate and campaign for their party’s 2020 nomination, health care ranks high on the list of issues that Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents want the candidates to discuss. KFF offers independent, non-partisan policy analysis, polling and other research and has experts who can provide context, explain trade-offs and provide key data points on health care issues that may arise in the debates and broader campaign. Some key resources:
Medicare-for-all and Other Proposals to Expand Public Coverage
  • This slideshow provides an overview of where the Democratic presidential candidates in the Sept. 12 debate stand on health care reform. This side-by-side comparison tool compares the major bills introduced in Congress this year to expand public health coverage through Medicare-for-all, a public option, and other approaches. This testimony explains the different approaches and their implications.
  • Our September poll looks at how Democrats view major approaches to expand coverage and lowering costs. Our July poll probes the public’s views of a public option health plan. Our June poll examines how the public thinks Medicare-for-all would change the nation’s health care system. Our January poll examines support for a range of options to expand coverage.
  • This analysis examines the role of private insurers play today in Americans’ health coverage, including in Medicare and Medicaid, and how that would change under Medicare-for-all and other proposals.
  • This column from KFF’s Drew Altman highlight the debates’ excessive focus on the details of candidates’ health plans while voters care more about the fundamental differences among the candidates and what that says about the kind of president they would be. (Additional Drew Altman columns here.)
Health Costs and Surprise Medical Bills
  • This analysis estimates how often consumers receive surprise medical bills when getting emergency room and hospital care, and describes key proposals to protect consumers.
  • This polling data note looks at Americans’ challenges affording health care.
Abortion and Other Reproductive Health Issues
  • This brief explains the new Trump Administration Title X regulations and discusses the implications for family planning clinics receiving these federal funds. This analysis and interactive map estimate the status of the Title X network as clinics decide whether to continue participating under the new regulations. 
  • This analysis looks at state laws affecting coverage for abortion services in Medicaid, Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace plans, and other private insurance. This brief probes more deeply into the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortion with limited exceptions.
  • This recent poll examines the public’s views on new Title X regulations, state laws prohibiting abortions after a “fetal heartbeat” is detected, Roe v. Wade, and other reproductive health policy issues.
Prescription Drug Costs
  • This brief describes recent and proposed changes to control Medicare drug spending and lower beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs. This explainer examines the concept of allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
  • Our February poll looks at Americans’ experiences with prescription drugs and their views on policy changes aimed at lowering drug prices. This data note probes seniors’ experiences.
Affordable Care Act and Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions
  • This explainer examines the potential impact of the Texas v. U.S. court case that, with the Trump Administration’s support, aims to overturn the entire ACA.
  • This fact sheet looks at how the number of people without health insurance changed under the ACA and why millions remain uninsured today.
  • This analysis estimates the number and share of people by state with “declinable” pre-existing conditions that would have prevented them from buying their own health insurance based on the underwriting practices in place in most states prior to the ACA.
Medicaid and the Uninsured
  • This report assesses the effects of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion on coverage, access to care, state budgets, and the economy in states that adopted it.
  • The brief looks at health coverage and care, and he uninsured rate, for undocumented immigrants, who are ineligible for Medicaid, Medicare and ACA coverage. This fact sheet examines the Trump Administration’s new “public charge” rule and its implications for immigrant  health and health care.
If you have questions about any of these resources or want to talk to a KFF expert, please contact Rakesh SinghCraig Palosky, Chris Lee or Nikki Lanshaw for assistance.