VP can­di­dates may be quizzed on Med­i­caid at de­bate

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Shan­non Much­more

The sec­ond round of pres­i­den­tial de­bates and the sin­gle de­bate for the can­di­dates’ run­ning mates will have dif­fer­ent for­mats than the first fiery head-to-head be­tween Demo­cratic nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton and Repub­li­can nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump.

The Oct. 9 de­bate will be in a town hall set­ting with an au­di­ence of un­com­mit­ted vot­ers ask­ing ques­tions di­rectly to the can­di­dates.

Po­ten­tial health top­ics that have not been touched on yet in­clude pre­scrip­tion drug prices, the sta­bil­ity of the Af­ford­able Care Act ex­change mar­ket­places and the fu­ture of the ACA in gen­eral. Trump has vowed to re­peal the law but has not said what he would put in its place. Clin­ton is cam­paign­ing on the suc­cesses of the law and her plans to im­prove it.

The vice pres­i­den­tial de­bate Tues­day will be di­vided into nine seg­ments of about 10 min­utes each. Trump’s run­ning mate, In­di­ana Gov. Mike Pence, could be asked about his de­ci­sion to ex­pand Med­i­caid un­der the ACA in his state. His plan, which in­cludes health sav­ings ac­counts, pre­mium con­tri­bu­tions and lock­outs for not pay­ing pre­mi­ums, has be­come a model for con­ser­va­tives, but anal­y­sis has shown mixed re­sults on its suc­cess. Pence’s ri­val, Vir­ginia Sen. Tim Kaine, has backed un­suc­cess­ful ef­forts to ex­pand Med­i­caid in his state. He has of­fered full-throated sup­port for the ACA since he was gover­nor of Vir­ginia and in Congress has spon­sored leg­is­la­tion to im­prove it and fix glitches.

The third pres­i­den­tial de­bate is Oct. 19. All events are 90 min­utes long and don’t in­clude com­mer­cials.

Veep nom­i­nees Sen. Tim Kaine, left, and Gov. Mike Pence will de­bate Tues­day.

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