President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will debate for the first time at the health education campus of Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic Sept. 29.
Five things to know:
1. The debate will be held in the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion, a 477,000-square-foot space that opened in 2019. The building is next to Cleveland Clinic’s main campus building. James Merlino, MD, chief clinical transformation officer at Cleveland Clinic, told Becker’s no services or appointments were canceled or rescheduled due to the debate. He said some patients were offered virtual visits, and some roads around the main campus will be closed.
2.The health system has prepared for the debate by focusing on security and safety, especially around COVID-19 protocols, Dr. Merlino said. Cleveland Clinic is the health security adviser to the Commission on Presidential Debates for all four of this year’s presidential election debates. Cleveland Clinic will be screening and testing everyone in the debate hall for COVID-19, Dr. Merlino said.
3. The debate comes on the heels of new healthcare executives orders from President Trump. The orders, signed Sept. 24, concern maintaining health insurance coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions and preventing surprise medical bills. The ACA already protects Americans with preexisting conditions from being denied healthcare coverage, but the Trump administration is backing a lawsuit in the Supreme Court that would undo the ACA.
4. Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who is moderating the debate, released six topics he plans to address. They include the Supreme Court and COVID-19. Several healthcare topics may arise, including the future of the ACA, a COVID-19 vaccine and price transparency regulation, among others.
5. Mr. Biden brings to the debate a pro-ACA stance. His platform involves building on the ACA by introducing a public option plan and more subsidies for Americans to buy health insurance off the public exchanges. He has not supported Medicare-for-All proposals.
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