Capitol Alert

How Cruz, Kasich and Trump compare

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Cruz, who spoke for 21 hours on the Senate floor to defund the nation’s health care law, famously says that “on day one” of a Cruz presidency he will repeal every word of the law known as Obamacare. “We need to enact reforms that make health care personal, portable, and affordable. Specifically, we need open insurance markets across state lines, expand Health Savings Accounts, and delink health insurance from employment,” Cruz has posted on his website.

Kasich says he supports repealing the law, but has been criticized by some conservatives for his decision to expand Medicaid in Ohio under the Affordable Care Act. “I’m for repealing Obamacare,” Kasich told reporters in February. “But expanding Medicaid at this point, bringing our dollars back, is working. It’s saving money and it’s saving lives.”

Trump also supports repeal. He has a seven-point health care plan on his campaign website that would modify laws that prevent the sale of health insurance across state lines, allow individuals to Health Savers Accounts (HSAs) and let the accounts to become part of the family estate that could be passed on without a tax penalty, and allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns.

ABORTION

Cruz is adamantly anti-abortion, even in cases of rape or incest. He told Megyn Kelly on Fox News earlier this month: “...when it comes to rape, rape is a horrific crime against the humanity of a person and needs to be punished and punished severely but at the same time, as horrible as that crime is, I don’t believe it’s the child’s fault.” Cruz said it is up to the states to decide under what conditions to ban abortion. He has advocated eliminating taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood, which apart from abortion services – not funded by federal funds – provides health care to women.

Kasich opposes abortion and signed a bill into law in July 2011 to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, allowing an exception only if the mother’s life is in danger. In February, he signed a bill to prohibit Ohio from contracting health services with any organizations that perform or promote abortion – a measure aimed at Planned Parenthood.

Trump has described himself as an abortion opponent. In a 1999 “Meet the Press” interview, Trump said that “I am strongly for choice and yet I hate the concept of abortion.” He stumbled on the abortion issue earlier this month when he told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that women who have abortions should be punished. Trump backtracked from that remark and told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that “The laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way.” Though he has said Planned Parenthood has done “very good work for millions of women,” he supports cutting federal funding to the organization if it continues to provide abortion services.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced a bill to completely overhaul the FDA, with the objective of expediting approvals for lifesaving drugs, let Congress intervene in FDA decisions lawmakers don’t like, and expand the drugs and devices in the U.S. by allowing products approved in other countries into the American market.

Kasich told Fox Business News in February that “the whole” drug industry should undergo a review. He suspects that “We probably are paying for things in research and development that the taxpayers already funded, that perhaps companies are marking up.” He also advocates competitive pricing, saying “I don’t understand why people in Europe can pay much lower prices for the same drugs we pay higher for, because we paid for the R&D. To me, that’s a total rip-off on us.”

Trump has talked about giving Medicare the power to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies in order to drive drug prices down. He’s claimed that a year by negotiating drug prices, an assertion that The Washington Post fact-checkers called “nonsense.”

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