Donald Trump is beloved by many because he “tells it like it is.” But recently he is sounding more like just another politician.
Healthcare is a good example. Trump has always favored single-payer healthcare and proudly said so in the first Republican debate. He claimed, “As far as single payer, it works in Canada, it works incredibly well in Scotland.” In a 60 Minutes interview in September he favored a universal healthcare entitlement and said, “I’m going to take care of everybody – and the government’s going to pay for it.”
In February, in a CNN debate, Trump was asked by Anderson Cooper how he would protect people with pre-existing conditions if he repealed the Individual Mandate. Trump responded, “Well, I like the mandate. So here’s where I’m a little different. I don’t like people dying in the streets.”
After these embarrassing responses, as well as more in the Houston debate, Trump’s team realized they needed to come up with something better. Therefore they posted his “new plan” on his web site called Healthcare Reform to Make America Great Again.
The New Trump plan has seven points:
- Completely repeal ObamaCare, including the Individual Mandate
- Buy insurance across state lines
- Exclude all health insurance premiums from taxation, not just employer-provided
- Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
- Require price-transparency from all healthcare providers
- Block-grant Medicaid to the states
- Allow U.S. consumers to buy drugs abroad
Although there are some solid points here that have long been favored by Republicans, such as complete repeal of ObamaCare and block-granting Medicaid, it is clear that whoever drafted this plan has little knowledge or experience in healthcare reform. Avik Roy, healthcare analyst for Forbes, points out the amateur mistakes:
- HSAs are already in wide-spread use
- Trump’s plan doesn’t deal with pre-existing conditions
- Complete elimination of all taxes on healthcare insurance premiums would cost the government $1.8 Trillion in taxes. This would greatly increase the national debt – which is already $19 Trillion.
Roy summarizes the impact of Trump’s “new plan”:
“The end result of Trump’s proposed changes would be far fewer people with health insurance, and far costlier healthcare: precisely the opposite of Trump’s goal of “covering everybody” and reducing costs. Surprisingly, there’s absolutely nothing in the plan about covering people with pre-existing conditions, something that Trump has claimed as one of his highest priorities.”
Clearly this “new plan” was drafted for political expediency. This is a vain attempt from the Trump campaign to appear like they have a healthcare plan when in fact they do not. This plan should not be taken seriously – and neither should Mr. Trump.