Part 2: Where Presidential Candidates Stand on Medicaid and Veterans Issues

 

Q. I am having a hard time following where the candidates stand on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. I watched all the debates so far, and typically vote based on the person, not the party. If you know more about their stances on these issues, can you provide an apples-to-apples view on where they all stand, so I can make an informed decision. Thanks very much for your help!

A. When it comes to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, there are clear differences between the Democratic and Republican candidates. Medicaid, in particular, has been an ongoing topic of debate in the 2016 Presidential campaign. Veteran’s issues are also important to many of us, and have been addressed by the candidates in debates, interviews, news articles, and more. Last week, we looked at the candidate’s views on Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Social Security. Today, we will examine the positions taken by the leading 2016 presidential candidates on Medicaid and Veteran’s issues, using the chart below. Again, for Republicans, we will focus on the top 4 candidates, based on the most recent polls. Information in the chart is derived from OntheIssues.com, various articles for which I provided the links, and candidate’s websites.

Candidate Issue View
 Democrats
Hillary Clinton Medicaid
Clinton says, “Medicare and Medicaid have saved lives for half a century. An attack on them is an attack on seniors and vulnerable Americans.”Facebook post
Veterans
According to Clinton,“(h)onoring veterans is a solemn duty. I’ll reform the VA—not privatize it. I’ll ensure our veterans get quality health care without enduring long waits, increase education and job opportunities, and end the appeals backlog—because veterans shouldn’t have to fight for benefits. And I’ll work to end crises many veterans face: homelessness and suicide.” 
KOLO – Jun 19, 2015
Bernie Sanders Medicaid Sanders says, “Don’t Cut Medicaid.” Watch his video here.
Veterans
According to Sanders, “(j)ust as weapons are a cost of war, so is taking care of the people we sent to fight. Veterans must receive the health care and benefits they have earned. Veterans must have timely access to care, and deserve access to dental and long-term care. We must end vets’ homelessness and fix the VA’s disability claims process.” 
Dec 30, 2015 
 
“It is unacceptable that millions of senior citizens and disabled veterans did not receive a cost-of-living adjustment this year to keep up with their rising living expenses” he said. 
 
Vt. senators push Social Security bonus check 
Rutland Herald – Dec 3, 2015 
Republicans
Donald Trump Medicaid Notably, Trump is the only republican candidate who vows to expand economic growth enough that cuts in Medicaid will be unnecessary. Trump discusses Medicaid in his announcement speech in Time magazine.
Veterans In a USA Today op-ed, Trump said his “record of veteran support is well-documented. I served as co-chairman of the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission and was responsible, with a small group, for getting it built.”Leader of New York Veterans Group Defends Donald Trump 

ABC News – Jul 20, 2015 

According to Trump, “(d)uring my entire business career, I have always made supporting Veterans a top priority because our heroes deserve the very best for defending our freedom,” Trump said in a statement on Sunday, pointing to his work on a veterans memorial and as grand marshal of the New York City Veterans’ Day Parade.” Trump Could Bump GOP Veterans Off Debate Stage 

WGBH NEWS – Jul 21, 2015

Ben Carson Medicaid Ben Carson said, “More freedom and less government in our healthcare system will mean lower costs, more access, and continued innovation. Read more on his website.
Veterans According to Carson, “(a)s president, I will direct a fundamental transformation in how we care for and empower Veterans across America, including reforming the Veterans Administration (VA). With our current unprecedented level of American support for better Veterans health care, military transition, education and employment, we will make great strides together.” –Dec 30, 2015 

Ben Carson told WMAL’s ‘Drive at Five Show’ in Washington, D.C. following VA Secretary Shinseki’s resignation that the greatest problem with the VA system is ‘too many layers of bureaucrats.’ […] ‘The real issue is that you got to get all that bureaucracy out of there and quite frankly, do we even need that system for most of our veterans? Why can they not be served at the local hospitals where they live and not have to drive 50 or a 100 miles to get a to a veterans facility? These are honored people in our society. They should be welcomed at any of our facilities and we should be honored to take care of them.’” [Daily Caller, 5/30/14]

Ted Cruz Medicaid Cruz said, “And one of the things about Medicaid–if you look at the health outcomes on Medicaid, health outcomes are markedly worse when people get on Medicaid. Medicaid is not performing well. And, in fact, people’s life expectancy goes down on Medicaid. It is markedly worse.” Read more in Katie Couric’s interview with Ted Cruz.
Veterans Cruz said on Veterans’ Day that “if elected president, he would hold the US Department of Veterans Affairs and its employees accountable for “falsely denying care” and “anyone criminally liable will be prosecuted.”   

Cruz specifically criticized Clinton for saying in an interview  that problems at the VA were not “as widespread as it has been made out to be.”

Marco Rubio Medicaid Rubio believes we must “move Medicaid into a per-capita cap system, preserving funding for Medicaid’s unique populations, while freeing states from Washington mandates.” Read more on his website.  
Veterans According to Rubio, “(u)nfortunately today we have a VA that does not do enough for (veterans)” Here’s Everything Feds Need to Know About Thursday’s GOP Debates
Government Executive – Aug 6, 2015 
Rubio said, “(w)e need to have a VA that is more interested in the welfare and security of our veterans than in the job security of federal employees,” Rubio said.Presidential Hopeful Says It Should Be Easier to Fire All Feds
Government Executive – Oct 20, 2015 

I hope you find this and the first part of our series to be helpful! We will continue to keep our readers updated, as the presidential campaign heats up and the candidates continue to refine their positions about these issues. 

Are You or Your Loved One a Veteran?
Here at the Farr Law Firm, we work with veterans and their spouses to evaluate whether they qualify for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit and/or Medicaid, and we deal with all the paperwork. As an Accredited Attorney with the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs and Certified Elder Law Attorney, I understand both the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit and the Medicaid program and the interaction between both benefit programs. Please call us to make an appointment for a no-cost initial consultation: 
Fairfax Veteran’s Attorney: 703-691-1888
Fredericksburg Veteran’s Attorney: 540-479-143
Rockville Veteran’s Attorney: 301-519-8041
DC Veteran’s Attorney: 202-587-2797 
P.S. Another benefit of being a veteran is a 15% discount off all services at the Farr Law Firm. We hope to see your family soon! 
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