Arvin Nanda, a family medicine physician at a three-doc practice in Dayton, Ohio, says he too cannot make a choice between Trump and Hillary. He says neither candidate gives Americans a great selection. Since he doesn't see a need to repeal the ACA and start over, he admitted he is leaning Democrat if he had to choose.
Like Zebley, Brenda Fortunate, a retired family medicine physician who works as a part-time faculty member for Genesys Health System in Grand Blanc, Mich., hasn't made a clear cut decision and it will have nothing to do with healthcare. However, she says on medical matters, she doesn't have much faith in either.
"When Hillary was in charge of healthcare reform under her husband's administration, I have it from a source of someone involved in the planning that she did not even allow on the table a discussion on limiting healthcare in any way. I don't think we can afford a Hillary Clinton healthcare [plan]. I don't think Donald Trump understands it [either],”she says.
Paul Norwood, an endocrinologist out of Fresno, Calif., has made his choice. While he says both candidates are "terribly flawed," Trump is the lesser of two evils. "As far as healthcare, I do think Trump will try to find a market solution, compared to Hillary Clinton, who will find a socialist solution to the problem, which is not workable," he says.
Not unlike the general electorate, physicians have put healthcare on the backburner comparatively to other important issues on how they are picking a candidate. Stacey Blyth, a Greensboro, N.C.-based family physician for multispecialty medical group LaBauer HealthCare, says she is a lifelong progressive and has generally made up her mind. However if she were to change her mind, it wouldn't be because of healthcare.
Of course this doesn't mean physicians don't have strong opinions on what actions the next president should take with regards to healthcare. For instance, Blyth would like to see a public option be put back on the table. She sees this as the main way towards salvaging the ACA.
Nanda says he hopes to see more insurance reform in the future. "…One of the ACA's tenants was to cap profitability of the insurance companies at 20 percent and make 80 percent of premiums to be payable as benefits. [Insurance companies] were very upset with that. A 20 percent profit for a business is incredible. That they'd be upset is ridiculous. We constantly see denial by insurance of care for patients on a daily basis. That still needs to be addressed," he says.
The Dayton-based doctor adds that proposed mergers between health insurers (Aetna and Humana; Anthem and Cigna) are concerning because less competition is needed in that industry, not more.
Zebley says he'd like to see a policy where states purchased and made vaccines more available to practicing physicians. He'd also like to see government funds put into prenatal and early well child care as well as other pediatric public health issues.