Be the most informed person in the room with Newsy's free e-newsletter

View our privacy policy: http://www.newsy.com/privacy/
Getty Images / Adam Berry

Election Issues Of 2016: Health Care

The Affordable Care Act, entitlement programs and abortion are the major health care issues in the 2016 presidential election.

By Karen Rodriguez | September 15, 2015

The Affordable Care Act is one of the cornerstones of President Barack Obama's legacy. 

And despite the government's positive outlook ...

"Today 16.4 million uninsured people have gained health care coverage."

Article Continues Below

It has had to jump through a lot of hoops. 

"The setbacks I remember clearly," said Obama.

"A U.S. judge in the state of Florida — Pensacola — ruled that the new health care law is unconstitutional." 

"Why is the Obamacare launch such a mess?

"House Republicans have filed a lawsuit not over immigration but over Obamacare." 

"The Supreme Court will take up another challenge to his signature Obamacare law." 

And the hoops keep on coming. The sentiment across the GOP presidential platform is the same: When can they repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act?

"I would repeal it, and replace it with something far better," said Donald Trump.

"There's no question it needs to be replaced before you repeal it," said Ben Carson.

Those critics argue Obamacare isn't doing enough to make health care more affordable.

"I don't believe we should have employer mandates, employee mandates or health care mandates that make health insurance so extraordinarily expensive, " said Jeb Bush in a campaign video.

"We want affordable and accessible health insurance for everyone in America," said Scott Walker.

On the other end of the political spectrum, Hillary Clinton vows to keep Obama's signature health care act afloat. 

"We've got to defend the Affordable Care Act."

And Bernie Sanders plans to give it an upgrade.

"Let's pass a cost-effective way to provide universal health care to all of our people," said Sanders. 

Affordable health care might be the biggest sticking point among candidates, but it's hardly the only one.

Jeb Bush brought the debate to reform entitlement systems, specifically Medicare, back into the campaign. The push for Medicare reform is hardly a surprise, given a report from 2012 that says the program will go broke by 2024.

"We need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system," said Bush.

And other GOP candidates say something must be done, too.

"We need to save Medicare, not simply delay its bankruptcy," said Marco Rubio. 

"Medicare, we have to take care of you," said Donald Trump.

And on the eve of Medicare turning 50, Democrats rejected the notion to reform. 

"Today, we're often told that Medicare and Medicaid are in crisis. But that's usually a political excuse to cut their funding, privatize them or phase them out entirely," said Obama.

"We need to move to a Medicare for all, single-payer system," said Bernie Sanders.

When it comes to health care, there really isn't a more polarizing topic than abortion. And this time around, the friction centers around defunding Planned Parenthood. 

The discussion picked up when anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress published videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing the illegal sale of fetal body parts.

And since then, defunding Planned Parenthood has been the main focus for the anti-abortion movement and GOP presidential candiates. 

"The time has come to end all taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood," said Rand Paul.

"This has nothing to do with whether you are pro-choice and pro-life; this has to do with the moral foundation of our nation," said Carly Fiorina. 

"We need to defund Planned Parenthood," said Ted Cruz.

And as lawmaker threats to defund Planned Parenthood rise, Democratic candidates are defending the group's importance for women's health. 

"If this feels like a full-on assault on women's health, that's because it is," said Hillary Clinton. 

"It is improper for the United States government or state government to tell every woman in this country the very painful and difficult choice that she has to make on that issue," said Sanders. 

What's clear is, on the topic of health care, the debate is centered around funding. Candidates are arguing over what does and doesn't deserve government money. 

Want to see more stories like this?
Like Newsy on Facebook for More Presidential Election Coverage