POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Donald Trump vs Joe Biden on Colorado issues: Where the presidential candidates stand

A breakdown of where the candidates stand on health care, marijuana, education, public lands issues and other major policies



  Health care


 

Background: 

Back in the spring, Gov. Jared Polis leveraged a number of federal channels in pursuit of life-saving ventilators but came up empty. Sen. Cory Gardner says he called Trump, and Colorado received 100 ventilators the next day. Either candidate, if elected to the presidency, will likely be inaugurated amid a still-raging pandemic that could spiral into hundreds of thousands of more deaths. Experts and critics have blasted the Trump administration for failing to properly distribute life-saving medical equipment to the states.

 

Would give more responsibility to federal government

A: He attributes the lack of adequate coronavirus testing to shortcomings in the federal response to the virus. His campaign website says a Biden administration would “take responsibility” for distributing personal protective equipment to states. He called on Trump to set up a pandemic testing board to coordinate distribution of tests to states and appoint a supply commander to coordinate the distribution of essential medical equipment to states. Biden also has called on every governor to mandate mask-wearing.
Biden in a September speech released his own plan for distributing the vaccine. He said, “If I’m elected president, I’ll begin by implementing an effective distribution plan from the minute I take office.” His plan includes a timeline, prioritization policies and shipping and storage mechanisms.

 

 

 

Delegated much responsibility to states

A: Donald Trump: Early in the pandemic Trump told states to work out competing bids for medical equipment and blamed states for failing to stockpile critical medical equipment. The federal government also outbid states for some equipment.
The Department of Homeland Security in September released a plan outlining how it would distribute a vaccine. The department said it would “engage with state, tribal, territorial, and local partners” for distribution and that the “CDC will play a vital role in deciding, based on input from experts and stakeholders, how initial, limited vaccine doses will be allocated and distributed.”
Early in the pandemic Trump told states to work out competing bids for medical equipment and blamed states for failing to stockpile critical medical equipment. The federal government also outbid states for some equipment.
The Department of Homeland Security in September released a plan outlining how it would distribute a vaccine. The department said it would “engage with state, tribal, territorial, and local partners” for distribution and that the “CDC will play a vital role in deciding, based on input from experts and stakeholders, how initial, limited vaccine doses will be allocated and distributed.”

 

 

Q:

HEALTH CARE PLAN

What is your health care plan agenda and how does it affect coverage in Colorado? In addition, would it allow states like Colorado to create single-payer systems?

Background: 

Health care is a significant issue in the race and in Colorado, where lawmakers are looking to expand coverage. If the next administration fails to advance its health care agenda initiative, expect states like Colorado to continue to explore state-level programs such as a public option plan run by private insurers, an effort in the legislature that failed in 2020.

 

Supports a public option, but not Medicare for All

A: He favors a public option “like Medicare” and lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare at the federal level. Biden’s health plan includes a provision that could affect Colorado’s public option push. He says states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act -- as Colorado did -- could move the expansion population to a “premium-free public option” run by the federal government, as long as states continue to pay a share of the cost. It’s not clear whether this would help Colorado.

 

 

 

Healthcare efforts have focused on repealing Obamacare and not much else

A: President Trump and congressional Republicans in 2017 tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but came up a vote short, and later repealed the individual mandate from the law. The Trump Administration in June asked the Supreme Court to repeal the law, and the court will hear arguments on the case shortly after the election. If the court strikes down the law, over 20 million Americans could lose their coverage. Trump hasn’t proposed a plan to replace the law.

 

 

Background: 

In a bid to reduce prescription drug costs, Colorado state health officials are developing what would be one of the nation’s first drug importation programs. But the state can’t do it alone. Under a 2003 law, federal approval is required. One major hurdle that could demand the next president’s attention: Canadian officials have concerns about the idea, and could unilaterally block drug exports to the U.S. before such a program can get off the ground.

 

Consumers can buy from other counties, unclear about states

A: How he would respond to a state importation plan remains unclear; he declined to answer this question. He supports allowing consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries, but only if federal health officials certify the drugs are safe. The certification step could hamper state-level efforts.

 

 

 

Recently permitted imports from Canada

A: Trump in September announced his administration would allow states to import prescription drugs from Canada and his administration says it poses no health risk. The measure however, does not allow states to import certain drugs, like insulin. It remains unclear about whether such a move would lower prescription drug prices.

 

 

The Issues


Pick a card to see stances from the candidates.


 

The Candidates


Click a candidate to see where they stand.


 

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Former Vice President and U.S. Senator   

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Incumbent president and businessman