Doctors are as divided as the candidates on healthcare issues

White House

As Americans will hear from candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the first presidential debate tonight, poll results show doctors are as divided as the candidates and the electorate when it comes to some healthcare issues.

Take for instance, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Fifty percent of doctors want the next president to keep the ACA in place, but the other half say the next leader should repeal the healthcare reform law completely, according to poll results released by SERMO, a social media network exclusively for physicians.

“Conversations about the U.S. presidential election are dominating social media, and doctors are taking part in political discussions on topics ranging from EpiPen prices to gun policy every day on the SERMO network,” said Osnat Benshoshan, the company’s chief marketing officer, in announcement.

In advance of the debate, SERMO released the results of polls it conducted in which U.S. doctors weighed in on the healthcare issues at the forefront of policy debates. The polls showed the following:

  • Drug pricing: 56 percent of physicians believe the government should stop allowing drug companies to make deals with generic drug makers that delay generic competition. Here’s one point doctors did overwhelmingly agree on: 89 percent said the Food and Drug Administration should expedite general drug applications for competing medications when the original drug has significantly jumped in price.
  • Opioid abuse: 43 percent of doctors polled say a broader use of interoperable Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) across state lines is the most effective option to solve the country’s opioid epidemic.
  • Abortion: A majority of physicians are pro-choice, both as physicians (75 percent) and from a personal viewpoint (70 percent). And 67 percent of physicians support federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Want to know where Trump and Clinton stand on healthcare issues? The Kaiser Family Foundation provides a summary and side-by-side comparison of their positions on seven healthcare issues. On the ACA, Clinton will keep the healthcare reform law and build on provisions already in place, while Trump would repeal the ACA.

Check out the infographic below from SERMO for more stats, including what changes doctors would make to the ACA: