Hillary Clinton, once again demonstrating her ability to do a million things simultaneously, has found the time to write an op-ed for the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Outlining her vision for universal, quality, affordable healthcare across the US, she also clearly shows she has just as much a grasp of the science as she does with the policies.
“Health and health care in America should not be a partisan or divisive issue,” Clinton writes. “As President, I will work tirelessly with anyone dedicated to improving our families’ health and ensuring that the promise of affordable, quality health care is achieved for all Americans.”
The focus of the piece is on how she plans to extend Obamacare, which has widely been seen as a success and has survived more than 50 attempts by Republican lawmakers to scupper it. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), as it’s technically known, means that for the first time in history, more than 90 percent of Americans have health insurance.
Trump, of course, wishes to repeal it for ideological reasons. Clinton instead wishes to strengthen it, expanding coverage in 19 states that have refused to play ball. She also wants to bring down the inordinate cost of prescription drugs, some of which have skyrocketed recently amid intense public outrage.
In addition, Clinton goes into specific detail about plans to boost research across various medical fields. Significantly, she mentions improving research on mental health, something that is often neglected in favor of more physical maladies.
“My vision includes a major new commitment to community and mental health centers as well as the National Health Service Corps,” she adds. “This will improve our ability to respond to public health emergencies – from natural disasters, to issues of environmental justice like Flint, to escalating rates of addiction and obesity, to infectious diseases like Ebola and Zika.”
Zika has been spreading through parts of the US recently, but attempts by Republicans to add unnecessary anti-Planned Parenthood and anti-Obamacare riders to the bill means that emergency funding still hasn’t been approved by Congress. Clinton is acutely aware that this is not good enough.
Clinton promises to boost funding and innovation in the biomedical sciences. Spotmatik Ltd./Shutterstock
Clinton laments that the nation has not yet invested enough in basic medical research, and that there’s too much inaction over innovative science around healthcare. “I will work to ensure that our scientific community and regulatory system are promoting innovation and will increase funding for biomedical research across all diseases,” she declares, mentioning HIV, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
She also notes that, as every rational person would agree, a woman’s personal health decisions should be made by herself, not partisan lawmakers. Clinton will defend the right to abortion, contraceptives, and sexual healthcare – “not just in principle, but in practice.”
The Democratic presidential nominee is no stranger to this type of medical opinion piece. Back in 2006, she co-authored another on health care with President Barack Obama for the very same journal. The commander-in-chief still holds the top academic spot, though – he recently wrote an academic article on Obamacare, providing peer-reviewed data on how it’s been working.
In stark juxtaposition stands Donald Trump, a man who can’t quite remember if climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese, or if vaccines give people autism. This clueless insult generator recently told Scientific American that “in a time of limited resources,” public health spending may not provide “the greatest bang for the buck.” The NEJM contacted Trump to ask about his healthcare proposals, but he did not reply.
Clinton, meanwhile, concluded her op-ed by stating that “improving the health and well-being of kids and families has been the most important cause of my life.” America – the choice is yours.
The election looms. Krista Kennell/Shutterstock