Decision 2020 – Your Vote, Your Community, Your Country

United States of America in 2021

2020 has been an extraordinary year for everyone.  Our lives have changed in so many ways this year.  We are less than one week from the election that will define who we are as a country in response to the pandemic, economy, human suffering, and future generations.  This is a very heavy time for all of us.

Today’s blog post contains the most recent and comprehensive visions by the two major presidential candidates.  I intended to give equal coverage to both Trump and Biden.  Unfortunately, my apples to apple comparison turned out to be apples to grapes.  Biden created a detailed platform on caregiving, and I could not find an equally comprehensive vision by Trump.  I intentionally do not include the previous achievements of either candidate.

President Donald J. Trump, 2020 Republican Candidate for President

Donald J. Trump

HEALTHCARE

  • Cut Prescription Drug Prices
  • Put Patients and Doctors Back in Charge of our Healthcare System
  • Lower Healthcare Insurance Premiums
  • End Surprise Billing
  • Cover All Pre-Existing Conditions
  • Protect Social Security and Medicare
  • Protect Our Veterans and Provide World-Class Healthcare and Services

The Republican platform has fifty bullet points as a platform.  None of the points were linked to additional details. Click here to read more

Presidential Election

Former Vice-President Joseph Biden, 2020 Democratic Candidate for President

  • Expand access to a broad array of long-term services and supports in local settings, including through closing the gaps in Medicaid for home- and community-based services and establishing a state innovation fund for creative, cost-effective direct care services.
  • Ensure access to high-quality, affordable childcare, and offer universal preschool to three-and four-year-old through greater investment, expanded tax credits, and sliding-scale subsidies.
  • Build safe, energy-efficient, developmentally appropriate childcare facilities, including in workplaces, so that parents and guardians never again have to search in vain for a suitable childcare option.
  • Treat caregivers and early childhood educators with respect and dignity, and give them the pay and benefits they deserve, training and career ladders to higher-paying jobs, the choice to join a union and bargain collectively, and other fundamental work-related rights and protections.

Click here to read more

Nov 3 vote

Expert Interviews Both Biden and Trump

Lastly, since I failed to get my apples to apple comparison, I turned to the AARP 2020 Presidential Questionnaires.  Robert Lowe, Editor in Chief, of the AARP Bulletin outlines their methodology

“As we have during past presidential elections, AARP reached out to the candidates from the Republican and Democratic parties to talk with us about the issues important to you. Both President Trump and former Vice President Biden graciously agreed to live phone interviews, which took place in late August. We asked many of the same questions of each, and when appropriate, we followed up. We allowed the candidates to present their views and positions without commenting on the accuracy of their claims. The interviews were edited for clarity and length.

Both candidates were eager and engaged in our conversations, which focused first on Social Security, then moved on to Medicare, nursing homes and other complex but vital topics. For the record, the candidates’ responses should not be interpreted as an AARP endorsement of any given policy position. AARP is nonpartisan and neither supports nor opposes candidates for office.

But what AARP strongly believes in is your right to vote, and the importance of exercising that right. To help, we’ve created how-to-vote guides for 53 U.S. states and territories. You can also go to aarp.org/election2020 for full election coverage, including AARP’s positions on key issues.”

Do you believe that federal programs like Medicare or Medicaid in some cases should pay for in-home care for older Americans? How could your administration provide more support for the nation’s army of roughly 40 million unpaid family caregivers?

TRUMP: We’re looking at that very seriously. These are incredible people. They have been unrecognized for the job they do, and if they didn’t do that job, we’d be swamped; our hospitals and our health care system would be swamped. We’re looking at doing something to help out and very substantially.

That would be through Medicare or Medicaid?

TRUMP: We think so, yes. We’re looking at that as being probably the best alternative.

Should Medicare or Medicaid pay for in-home care for older Americans? How would you provide support for the nation’s army of unpaid family caregivers?

BIDEN: COVID-19 proves how vital it is to give people who want to live at home a chance to stay there. Again, it gets back to basic dignity. As president, I’m going to invest $450 billion so more Americans can choose to live at home if they want to.

We’re going to give family caregivers, the really quiet heroes out there, the support they deserve. We’re going to create a $5,000 tax credit for informal [family] caregivers.

With the CARE Act, which I think is really important, hospitals give caregivers all the information they need when their loved ones are being discharged.

So you would take the CARE Act [the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable Act], which has been passed by 43 states and territories, and make it a federal law?

BIDEN: Yes, absolutely.

Click here to read more

One Person, One Vote

You decide what America you want to see in 2021 and beyond.  Most importantly, it is your duty to cast your vote.  Make a plan on where and how you will participate in this most important election of your lifetime.  See you at the poles.

Sincerely yours,

Monica Stynchula, MSW, MPH