Last week, the Republican Party kicked off the 2024 Presidential election season with its first major network debate. Eight qualifying candidates met in Wisconsin and gave a peek at their positions on abortion access, mental health, and other aspects of American life. Candidates spent most of their time trying to differentiate themselves from former President Trump, who continues to lead by a large margin in preliminary polling and did not attend. He did, however, release a prerecorded interview with former-host Tucker Carlson, where he shared his own plans to advance American health care.

At the Republican debate, abortion policy and transgender health care dominated the health policy conversation. Nikki Haley, the only female candidate on stage, positioned herself as the only candidate focused on policy and getting things done. She stated that she wants to concentrate on health policy priorities that can actually be passed, saying a national abortion ban will be “impossible” given political realities. Former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) still called for a 15-week ban on abortions, while Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) celebrated “eliminat[ing] gender ideology” in education, despite the American Academy of Pediatrics’ calls for affirming environments for gender-diverse children. Other aspects of access to care, like insurance coverage, were largely absent from the debate.

Former President Trump expressed his interest in reviving his 2020 prescription drug executive order—Putting America First. The Order tried to lower the cost of prescription drugs through President Trump’s “most favored nations” pricing model for Medicare Parts B and D. The model seeks to limit the amount Medicare pays for prescriptions to the prices paid by other developed nations. The Department of Health and Human Services did not promulgate a proposed rule to implement Putting America First and the Order was revoked by the Biden Administration.

This week, President Biden gave his latest speech on lowering health care costs. The President reiterated his support for the Inflation Reduction Act and shared his concerns about Americans’ access to care. President Biden was joined by VP Kamala Karris, and cancer patient and advocate Steve Hadfield. Catch the replay on C-SPAN here.