Clinton vs. Sanders: Battle of the healthcare policies

The growing divide between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on core healthcare policies may end up reflecting poorly on them both, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

Clinton, who generally supports the Affordable Care Act, has recently started to openly criticize Sanders' idea for a single-payer healthcare system, pointing out Sanders hasn't elaborated much about his plan. He has, however, said a single-payer system would save the average family about $5,000 per year.

Some speculate that Sanders has provided few details about the plan because a single-payer system could increase taxes by an estimated $15 trillion over the next 10 years, the WSJ says. But Sanders has now come back to criticize Clinton, questioning why she wouldn't openly support a single-payer system, as there are still so many Americans who cannot afford insurance.

"She attacks the premise of single payer in a disingenuous way and then has no plan for covering them," Chuck Idelson of National Nurses United, which supports Sanders, told the WSJ.

Clinton has been a longtime advocate for affordable healthcare; she also supported repealing the highly unpopular Cadillac tax and has been extremely skeptical of the proposed health insurer mergers, saying she had serious concerns over their effect on customers.

An article in the Los Angeles Times pointed out that Sanders may be reaching in his goals for healthcare, and Clinton's more moderate views--to improve the current policy rather than start over--is the more transparent. However, according to Robert Blendon, a Harvard University professor who studies healthcare and public opinion, "liberal supporters feel he might actually have a chance," since Sanders is strongly addressing an issue that the party has always cared about.

To learn more:
- read the WSJ article
- here is the Los Angeles Times piece