New Grads' Guide to the 2016 U.S. Election for Occupational Therapists
Written by Dominic Lloyd-Randolfi, Published on October 27, 2016
As you all know, this year’s Presidential Election has been anything but normal. With so much misinformation out there, it can be tricky to decipher what it all means.
Thankfully, NGOT put together a guide to help you through this year’s election cycle and how it will affect the profession of occupational therapy.
Repeal the ACA - Trump's main pillar of his health care reform platform revolves repealing the Affordable Care Act. He does not believe individuals should be mandated to purchase health insurance if they do not want to.
This is fine and all. The ACA or "Obamacare", is not without its own criticisms. However, the ACA prohibits health insurances from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. Trump has claimed he would force health insurance companies to provide services to those with pre-existing conditions but has not specifically said how.
Consider this from the viewpoint of occupational therapy. The ACA provides insurance for 19.7 million people in this country. That is a lot of people that may require OT services at some point in their life. How does that affect us? Do we have fewer clients to treat? Fewer jobs? Higher compensation rates? Let me know what you think in the comments down below.
Donald Trump's reform also plans on allowing states to distribute Medicaid as block-grants, allow health insurance premiums to be tax deductible, and allow health insurance plans to be sold across state lines. All of which can be learned about from his website or an independent review.
Donald Trump's website also lays out plans for Veteran's Affairs reform. Even though his plan is vague, they sound inclusive and offer a great pathway to include and further advance occupational therapy in Veteran's care.
Amend the ACA - Hillary Clinton's main pillar of health care reform is to amend the Affordable Care Act, and I have to warn you, it is incredibly complicated. There is a reason why I chose OT and it was to get away from math!
Clinton hopes to provide individuals with a $2500 tax credit to be applied to health expenses. Clinton also wants to place a cap on health insurance premiums protecting purchasers as well as implement a public option for health insurance provided by the government. A Medicare-for-all type of thing. It's estimated that these amendments would provide health insurance to at least 9.6 million more Americans.
But why does this matter to OTs across the country? Well, I want you to tell me. Do you think this is good because it will create jobs for the profession? Or are you worried about decreasing reimbursement rates?
Hillary Clinton has been in a politics for two decades and has quite the resume when it comes to health care reform. Her topics of interest include autism, Alzheimer's, mental health, and disability rights. These are core themes to the OT profession and I encourage you to research on your own.
Other Elections This Year
While it's often easy to forget, there are plenty of other elections and seats up for grabs. While it may not be as flashy as the Presidential race, U.S. Senators and House of Representatives are battling it out this November for what some would argue a more decisive role in our country's leadership.
AOTA has a bipartisan list of men and women in Congress that support Occupation Therapy grow as a profession. Check to see if one of your state's leaders is supported by AOTPAC. If so, consider making a donation here!
Need More Info?
Check out the video below. Novelist and Youtuber John Green explains the two candidates and their health care policies in an easy to watch video. Just a heads up, it is 10 minutes long and he talks fast!
Everyone here at NGOT has different thoughts and opinions that cover a wide spectrum of beliefs. We certainly do not intend to influence one way or another. Our hope is to provide information so that you can consider what is best for OT. And make sure you GO VOTE!