Health Policy Resources for Covering the 2020 Elections

The presidential debates that start Tuesday are likely to highlight major differences between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden on health care issues, including on the public health and economic response to COVID-19, the future of the Affordable Care Act, health care costs and abortion.

To help reporters understand and cover these issues, KFF offers independent, non-partisan policy analysis, polling and other research and has experts who can provide context, explain trade-offs and provide key data points on health care issues that may arise in the debates and broader campaign. Some key resources:


  • This overview slideshow compares President Trump’s record and Democratic nominee Biden’s positions across a wide range of key health issues, including the response to the pandemic, the ACA marketplace, Medicaid, Medicare, drug prices, reproductive health, mental health and opioids, immigration and health coverage, and health care costs.
    This JAMA Health Forum column also summarizes key differences.
  • This brief reviews the Trump administration’s record on a wide range of health issues.
  • The September KFF Health Tracking Poll assesses voters’ views of the presidential candidates on key health care issues. The KFF/Cook Political Report’s Sun Belt Voices Project polls voters in Arizona, Florida and North Carolina, three critical battleground states.


  • This overview and detailed side-by-side compares President Trump and Democratic nominee Biden on their records, actions and proposals related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Our September poll examines the public’s knowledge and views of the coronavirus outbreak, and their trust in public health experts and institutions, including concerns about how political pressure may affect vaccine development.
  • KFF President and CEO Drew Altman’s essay in The BMJ examines two fundamental policy decisions made by the Trump administration that set the U.S. on the controversial and highly criticized course it has taken on COVID-19.
  • This topic page highlights several pieces on how people of color have fared worse during the pandemic and also provides data on underlying health care disparities and racial inequities.

Affordable Care Act and Coverage Expansions

  • This explainer examines the potential impact of the Texas v. California case, supported by the Trump administration, that aims to overturn the ACA. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case on Nov. 10, a week after the election.
  • This analysis examines key provisions of the law and how they impact nearly every American, with national, state, and public opinion data.
  • This analysis estimates the number and share of people by state with pre-existing conditions that would have prevented them from buying health insurance based on the underwriting practices in place in most states prior to the ACA.
  • This post looks at what we know about recent trends in health insurance coverage.
  • This report assesses the effects of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion on coverage, access to care, state budgets, and the economy.
  • This brief provides key public opinion data about the public’s views and knowledge about the ACA.
  • This slideshowcaptures our most relevant polling data on the public’s views of a public option, Medicare-for-all, and other approaches to expanding coverage. This explainer examines key aspects of public option proposals and their potential implications.
  • This slideshow explains the similarities and differences among major proposals to lower prescription drug costs introduced by the Trump Administration, members of Congress, and the Biden campaign.
  • This explainer examines key issues regarding importation of drugs from Canada and other countries.
  • This brief looks at Medicare negotiation of drug prices.
  • This analysis estimates how often consumers receive surprise medical bills when getting emergency room and hospital care, and describes key proposals to protect consumers. This brief looks at the chance of getting an unexpected out-of-network medical bill for different health conditions, including heart attacks and mastectomies.
  • This slideshow captures key polling data on Americans’ views and experiences with prescription drug costs, and this data note looks at Americans’ experiences with surprise medical bills.

Abortion and Reproductive Health

  • This poll dives into the public’s views and knowledge about abortion and reproductive health issues, including Roe v. Wade, state-level restrictions, and family planning services.
  • This analysis examines the likely impact of Trump administration regulations, currently blocked by court orders, for abortion coverage in ACA marketplace plans.
  • This slideshow looks at the impact of state abortion policies on clinical practice.

If you have questions about any of these resources or want to talk to a KFF expert, please contact Rakesh Singh, Craig Palosky or Chris Lee for assistance.