Skip to main content.

Where Do the Candidates Stand on Health Care?

Health care is among the most crucial issues for voters heading into the 2020 election season, and more than two-thirds of Democrats say it’s among the most important factors in their vote. With Super Tuesday fast approaching, now is the time to brush up on the leading candidates’ latest plans for health care and the key differences in how they would tackle a host of pressing challenges. Soaring insurance deductibles and drug prices are crippling many families' budgets, premiums continue their steady upward march, and a legislative fix to the problem of surprise bills remains elusive. Meanwhile, a philosophical divide has riven the Democratic party: Fix the Affordable Care Act and pursue incremental reforms or pursue a more dramatic overhaul of the health system along the lines of Medicare for All? This webinar will bring together two top national health policy reporters and a veteran health policy expert to provide a timely overview of the leading candidates’ health care positions. We’ll also highlight key storylines worth tracking and share tips and strategies for relaying key policy distinctions for diverse audiences. 

WHEN: Feb. 19, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PT / 1-2 p.m. ET

REGISTER: [Now closed]


Alice Miranda Ollstein is a health care reporter for Politico Pro, covering the Capitol Hill beat. Prior to joining Politico, she covered federal policy and politics for Talking Points Memo. Ollstein graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been reporting in D.C. ever since, covering the Supreme Court, Congress and national elections for TV, radio, print, and online outlets. Her work has aired on Free Speech Radio News, All Things Considered, Channel News Asia, and Telesur, and her writing has been published by The Atlantic, La Opinión, and The Hill Rag. She was elected in 2016 as an at-large board member of the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2017, she was named one of the New Media Alliance's “Rising Stars” under 30. Ollstein grew up in Santa Monica, California and began freelancing for local newspapers in her early teens.

Yasmeen Abutaleb is a national reporter for The Washington Post who covers health policy, with a focus on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, health policy on Capitol Hill and health care in politics. Before joining The Post in 2019, she previously covered health care for Reuters, with a focus on the Affordable Care Act, federal health programs and drug pricing. In 2016, Abutaleb was a lead reporter on a five-part series that examined the rising threat of antibiotic-resistant infections and the inability of the government and health-care industry to address the problem. Abutaleb has also reported in depth on the opioid crisis, changes to Medicaid and political influence on health policies.

Linda Blumberg is an institute fellow at the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute. She is an expert on private health insurance, health care financing, and health system reform. Her recent work includes extensive research related to the Affordable Care Act, with a focus on providing technical assistance to states, tracking policy decisions and implementation at the state and federal levels, and interpreting and analyzing the implications of particular policies. Her work has analyzed everything from congressional proposals to repeal and replace the ACA and the implications of the King v. Burwell case to studies of competition in ACA marketplaces. Blumberg frequently testifies before Congress and is widely quoted in major media outlets on health reform topics. She serves on the Cancer Policy Institute’s advisory board and has served on the Health Affairs editorial board. In the early 1990s, she was a health policy adviser to the Clinton administration during its health care reform effort. Blumberg received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.

 Webinars are free and made possible by The Commonwealth Fund and the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. 

Presenters' slides:

1) For Linda Blumberg's slides, click here.

2) For Alice Miranda Ollstein's slides, click here.

3) For Yasmeen Abutaleb's slides, click here.


 Suggested reading

5 ways doing nothing might be the most expensive health care option of all,” by Alice Miranda Ollstein, Politico 

Democrats seize on Obamacare court ruling to regain a 2020 health care advantage,” Alice Miranda Ollstein, Politico

Comparing Health Insurance Reform Options: From ‘Building on the ACA’ to Single Payer,” by Linda Blumberg et al, Urban Institute

Democratic candidates dive into complicated health policy — with uneven results,” by Yasmeen Abutaleb and Jeff Stein

2020 Candidates Views on Health Care: A Voter's Guide,” by Politico

Health Care: See Where The 2020 Democratic Candidates Stand,” by Danielle Kurtzleben, NPR

Issues worth keeping in mind as we head into 2020 elections,” by Ivan Oransky, AHCJ


Domestic violence affects tens of millions of Americans every year. Yet media outlets mostly treat incidents as "cops" items, if they cover them at all, as opposed to treating domestic violence as a public health problem. Our free two-day symposium will help journalists understand the root causes and promising prevention, intervention and treatment approaches.  Plus participants will be able to apply for grants to report California-focused projects.

The pandemic has unleashed a tsunami of misinformation, lies and half-truths capable of proliferating faster than the virus itself. In our next webinar, we’ll delve into what one of our speakers has termed “the natural ecology of bullshit” — how to spot it, how it spreads, who is most impacted, and how to counter it. And we’ll discuss reporting examples, strategies and story ideas that incorporate these insights and effectively communicate to diverse audiences. Sign-up here!

Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States? The USC Center for Health Journalism seeks an enterprising and experienced journalism leader for our new position of “Manager of Projects.” 



Follow Us



CHJ Icon