TrumpCare: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive republican presidential nominee, the entire electorate is set to become more interested in his positions on a number of issues vital to Americans than on his latest insults of other candidates. Naturally, Trump’s proposed health care policy is front and center for virtually every American and will have a dramatic impact on people’s lives should Mr. Trump be elected. So, it is worth a look at what position the Donald is staking out, at least at this stage, for the country’s health care policy.

First and foremost, as anyone might expect from a republican, Trump proposes to repeal Obamacare. No surprise there. So, on day one of the Trump Administration, he would ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare. However, Trump goes further in saying that it is not enough to simply repeal the Affordable Care Act. Trump proposes to implement a series of reforms that claim to follow free market principles and that would “restore economic freedom and certainty to everyone in this country.” This, he believes, would “broaden access to healthcare, improve quality, and make health care more affordable.

In summary, the Trump-Care Plan is comprised of the following:

  1. Allow the sale of health insurance across state lines.
  2. Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns.
  3. Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) with tax-free contributions.
  4. Require price transparency from all healthcare providers enabling medical consumers to shop for the best prices.
  5. Block-grant Medicaid to the states.
  6. Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products, allowing consumers access to drugs imported from overseas.

Trump’s position further asserts that:

  • Providing healthcare to illegal immigrants costs the US taxpayer around $11 billion annually. So, by his calculation, this amount could be saved if Mexico would simply pay to have the wall built.
  • The US should install programs that grow the economy and bring capital and jobs back to the US. Fixing the economy will go a long way towards reducing our dependence on public health programs.
  • The US mental health programs and institutions in the US need fixing.

Bottom line – if Trump wins the White House, there will be another health care scrum. Some would argue that changes lie ahead anyway because Obamacare did nothing to reduce healthcare costs. So, whoever wins the White House will be faced with either finding a way to reduce healthcare costs or an increasingly unacceptable series of annual increases in healthcare costs resembling Chinese water torture. Whatever the outcome, Americans need to face realities of health care.

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