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Clinton, Trump and Black Women’s Health

We may think of our vote and our health as two separate things, but the two are intimately linked.

For example, President Obama’s election allowed for the creation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and provided health insurance to millions of men, women and children. Also, the election of certain people to Congress has resulted in restricted access to reproductive health care for some women.

At the Black Women’s Health Imperative, we fight to ensure Black women have what they need to live their healthiest and best possible lives. And voting — your vote — is one of the most effective ways to join us in this work.

We want you to be an informed voter, so we took information from both Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s campaign sites to compare their health care platforms and how they could impact Black women’s health.


Under Clinton’s Health Care Platform, Black women will: Under Trump’s Health Care Platform, Black women will:
  • Keep their universal health care through the ACA, access more affordable insurance premiums through enhanced tax credits or introducing insurer competition by adding a government-sponsored health plan


  • Access health coverage through the expansion of Medicaid in their state or electing to enroll in Medicare as early as the age of 55


  • Be protected from high copays and deductibles for medical care and prescription drug price increases by drug companies as a result of her proposed plan to lower out of pocket medical costs and allow for the emergency importation of safe, cheap prescription drugs from developed countries.


  • Have enhanced and improved access to reproductive health care


  • Have expanded access to mental health care and substance abuse services, which will be incorporated into traditional medicine and covered by health insurance plans the same as other medical conditions. Individuals who are dealing with mental illness will have a support system and structure around them to live a healthy and productive life, such as behavioral health experts, community-based supportive housing, employment opportunities and telepsychiatry services.


  • Have access to more mental health care providers, and reproductive health care and “a range of medical services” if they are a veteran.
  • Not keep their universal health care through the ACA, but they will have a tax-free savings account to help cover medical expenses, experience lower overall health insurance costs as a result of being able to purchase health insurance from companies doing business outside of their own state, and be able to deduct insurance premiums on their taxes


  • Experience a sharp reduction in Medicaid benefits, elimination of Medicaid coverage, or not have access to any Medicaid benefits if they are low-income or poor. Seniors will not know the extent of their coverage because a specific plan has not been laid out for Medicare


  • Know the detailed costs of their medical care and have an alternative to high cost prescription drugs


  • Face significant barriers to accessing reproductive health care


  • Not know if they have access to mental health services because no specific plan is laid out for mental health reform


  • Have access to treatment of “invisible wounds” such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and an OB/GYN provider at every VA hospital and “other women’s health services” if they are a veteran.


Clinton’s approach to health care is centered around the person. Her platform has the potential to ensure every American has access to quality and affordable health care.  For example, even though African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health issues compared to the general population, they are less likely to utilize mental health services. Under Clinton’s plan, Black women and their families will have expanded access to affordable mental health services, which will likely result in them using those services more.

Trump’s approach to health care is focused on lowering health care costs for the federal government and increasing the amount of income every working Black woman and her business keep in their pockets.  However, Black women living in poverty are not able to save money for medical expenses or afford to pay insurance premiums, which would be deducted under Trump’s plan.

It’s important to note that on November 8 you won’t only be voting for the president, but also for Members of Congress, who can pass legislation that helps or harms your health. You may also be voting for local and state offices like a mayor and school board officials, who have a more direct impact on your health than federal lawmakers.

When we as Black women vote, we make a difference.  So, think long and hard about the impact of your vote on your health. Voting is a right that you must exercise, and when you do, vote like your health depends on it.

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