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Party Platforms on HIV/AIDS

The 2016 Republican Platform

The 2016 Republican Platform discusses AIDS in a section on Africa, highlighting the millions lives saved by PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and noting their connection to former President George W. Bush. The current Republican Platform does not specifically discuss the domestic HIV epidemic within the United States.

The Republican Party’s vocal opposition to The Obama Administration’s signature health care reform is sustained in the 2016 Republican Platform, which explicitly states their intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act as soon as possible. In its stead, the Republican Platform suggests increasing the amount of power that state governments have in regulating insurance markets while limiting the ability of the Federal government to issue health care mandates.

When it comes to Medicare and Medicaid reform, the 2016 Republican Platform places an emphasis on providing both individuals and states with more choice and responsibility concerning their health care. The platform proposes modernizing Medicare by imposing no changes for Americans 55 and older, while encouraging a transition from a defined benefit model to a defined contribution—or “Premium Support”—model and potentially changing the age of eligibility. The Republican platform also suggests Medicaid into a block grant, allowing individual states to control how they spend their funding, which they believe will promote the creation of new, cost-effective solutions to health care problems.

The 2016 Republican Platform discusses the current opioid epidemic in a section on combatting drug abuse. It touches on the misuse of prescription drugs and highlights the party’s support of legislation aimed at curtailing the over-prescription of drugs. The platform also calls for support of the recently passed Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.

While the terms LGBT, gay, and homosexual are not mentioned in the 2016 Republican Platform, it does clarify some of the party’s stances concerning the rights of LGBT Americans. In the platform, the Republican Party strongly affirms their belief that the institution of marriage should be between one man and one woman, rejecting the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges and supporting the First Amendment Defense Act and other Republican legislation that prevents the Federal government from taking action against individuals and businesses that oppose same-sex marriage based on their religious beliefs.

The 2016 Democratic Platform

The 2016 Democratic Party Platform affirms the party’s belief that an AIDS-free generation is within reach and pledges to implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. In addition, the platform pledges to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health, cap pharmaceutical expenses faced by those living with HIV and AIDS, reform harmful HIV criminalization laws, and improve access to harm reduction programs and preventive medications. The Democratic Platform also espouses their support for our nation’s commitment to PEPFAR and advocates for increased global funding for HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment programs.

Framed within the Democratic Party’s stated desire to achieve universal health care for all Americans, the Affordable Care Act is portrayed in the Democratic Platform as a vital step towards that aim. While not of endorsing the single payer “Medicare-For-All” approach advocated by Bernie Sanders, the Democrats are supporting access to a public option insurance plan and increased funding for community health centers. The platform also reinforces the role of the ACA in protecting a woman’s ability to receive reproductive health care services.

The 2016 Democratic Platform is direct in its insistence that Medicare and Medicaid not be privatized, phased out, cut, or repurposed into block grants. The platform highlights the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid and the role it played in covering 20 million previously uninsured Americans. The Democratic Party also included a provision in their platform that would allow anyone 55 and up to opt in to Medicare.

In their platform, the Democratic Party acknowledges the severity of the opioid epidemic in America and calls for expanded access to prevention and treatment services, while also advocating for policy change such as the full implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act of 2008.

This year’s Democratic Platform promotes the party’s belief that LGBT rights are human rights and must be safeguarded both at home and abroad. In their platform, the Democratic Party pledges to fight on behalf of LGBT Americans by enacting comprehensive Federal non-discrimination policies, protecting same-sex marriage rights, and opposing all state efforts at LGBT discrimination.

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