Healthcare policies become a focal point as presidential field narrows

As the field of potential presidential nominees narrows, candidates are refining their healthcare policies, while others appear to be shrouded in secrecy.

Leading Republican candidate Donald Trump's plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has been notoriously short on details. Trump's policy adviser, Sam Clovis, tells Politico they are getting input from "experts around the world" that will shape the details of the healthcare policy, but declined to identify any advisers. Trump has previously stated he supports universal healthcare and government-funded policies so people aren't "dying on the streets," and advocates for increasing competition by allowing insurers to sell across state lines. He has also called for allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

However, both left- and right-leaning healthcare experts denied providing any input to the Trump campaign, according to Politico, and various lobbying groups appear to have been stonewalled. Clovis told the news outlet that the campaign would "expand our aperture" as the field of candidates narrows.

On the other side of the aisle, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton officially threw her support behind a "public option" that would build off of existing Affordable Care Act policies. According to her website, a public option--a government-run plan that was removed from the final version of the ACA--would "reduce costs and broaden the choices of insurance coverage for every American."

Although the site claims Clinton "consistently" supported the public option since her 2008 presidential campaign, Slate's Jordan Weissmann points out that her campaign has not fully embraced the left-leaning policy until now. Weissman says officially supporting the public option could help distinguish her views on healthcare from that of rival Bernie Sanders, who openly supports a single-payer system. Slate adds that the public option was overwhelming popular with Democrats and in public polls leading up to the ACA's passage.

To learn more:
- check out Clinton's website
- read the Slate article
- read the Politico story on Trump's policies