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Four urologists offer their takes on presidential candidates' health care plans.
Dr. Laciak“There’s a lot of talk about the ACA and whether candidates would keep it, revoke it, change it, re-fashion it. But there’s nothing specific.
I don’t like proposals to get rid of the ACA and replace it with a brand-new plan without having anything solid and in place. That’s what I don’t hear from the candidates-exactly what their plan is. All we hear is that ‘the ACA will be thrown out and we’ll come up with a better plan.’
It’s definitely necessary to keep some sort of health care. People realize the ACA serves a good purpose for a patient population that wasn’t being served before. Parts of the plan need to be adjusted, but any massive program like this will go through different iterations until you get to the perfect, or near-perfect, plan. We’ve always seen that; Social Security and Medicare weren’t perfect the first time around.
That goes for universal coverage too. That’s been discussed over the last 10 to 20 years, and no one has come up with the perfect plan, so I don’t see how someone could suddenly come up with one now.
The ACA is not perfect, but it’s the best we have and the best put forward in the last 10 years. So we need to work with the current plan and make it work for everybody instead of going back to the drawing board. I’m not sure anybody could come up with a better idea. No one has.”
Robert Laciak, MD
Next: "There’s no way I’d vote for Hillary Clinton."
Dr. Brenner“Bernie Sanders makes the most sense because we really need universal health care. I practiced about 2 hours outside of Kansas City in Osage Beach, MO, and a single-payer system is what would work best for providing care in rural areas.
There’s no way I’d vote for Hillary Clinton. I don’t believe anything she has to say about health care or anything else. She says whatever she has to say. I’m afraid she’s going to decrease Medicare and Social Security if elected.
Ted Cruz says he’s going to repeal Obamacare, but he can’t repeal it. It would be disastrous for 15 to 20 million people. My son and daughter-in-law depend on the ACA. Cruz can say whatever he wants; he won’t be able to do anything about Obamacare. Republicans won’t be able to cut Social Security or Medicare because the Democrats would block that.
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I really wished Biden would’ve run. I think I’m starting a no-voting campaign-that’s the best solution.”
Robert Brenner, DO
Kansas City, MO
Next: "Whatever Republicans would come up with would be better than what we have; the one we’ve got is such a bad plan."
Dr. Vaught“I’m hearing about undoing the Affordable Care Act from Republican candidates, trying to revise health care in a different format, and I’m in favor of that. For the most part, they haven’t proposed anything specific, although Ben Carson had some ideas like health care savings accounts. He had a pretty detailed proposal that sounded like a more logical and affordable plan than the ACA. But he’s not in the race anymore.
Whatever Republicans would come up with would be better than what we have; the one we’ve got is such a bad plan. It’s not affordable in the long term. The cost is much higher for people, and I’m generally against big federally mandated government programs to solve all the problems. It’s a philosophical bias, I guess. I don’t know that it’s helped that many people.
In my view of things, everybody has been covered since I’ve been in practice for 30 years because people who didn’t have insurance still got taken care of; people who had insurance paid more for their premiums. It’s just how you’re spreading the cost of that coverage.”
Wallace Vaught, MD
Next: "I really don’t think we can just get rid of the ACA."
“I haven’t heard much that I like, but what I really don’t like are the promises that they’re going to revolutionize health care but with no plans to back it up. Trump doesn’t even tell you who his health care policy advisers are.
I really don’t think we can just get rid of the ACA. Too many people have gotten insurance and are benefiting from it. Even if it’s not the perfect program, it’s what we have now, and nothing else specific is being proposed.
I don’t know much about the idea of a single-payer system, but I don’t know how you would pay for it. It would be really expensive and whenever the government gets involved in a program, it gets really bogged down.”
Thomas Facelle, MD
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