On March 2nd, the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump released his “Healthcare Reform to Make America Great Again”, requiring government oversight of healthcare and letting the free market sort out costs.
These are the 15 thing you should know about Trump’s healthcare reform plan:
- He intends to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Namely, Trump wants to completely eliminate the healthcare reform law particularly its individual mandate that requires all individuals above a specific economic threshold to purchase health insurance. Even though he used to support the ACA provision requiring payers to cover people with pre-existing conditions, in his March proposal he stated: “Our healthcare is a horror show,” Mr. Trump said at the sixth Republican debate in January. “Obamacare, we’re going to repeal it and replace it.”
- Trump’s plan will leave 24 million Americans uninsured
By annulling the ACA, according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation analysis 24 million people will lose healthcare coverage by 2021, more than doubling the number of uninsured Americans. Trump’s proposed replacement initiatives only cover 5 percent of all the individuals who would lose coverage.
- CRFB predicts high costs to repeal and replace the ACA
It is estimated that Trump would need $550 billion over the course of 10 years to revoke and replace the ACA. According to a bipartisan Committee for Responsible Federal Budget analysis, when you consider the effects on the economy, the price tag changes to $330 billion.
- He wants to convert Medicaid to a block grant program
According to CRFB’s fiscal report analysis, this kind of program would involve the federal government allotting each state a fixed amount of yearly funding. According to the analysis, the grants could save or cost the government money, depending on their size, which Mr. Trump has not disclosed.
- He wants to allow insurers to sell plans across state lines
He proposes that by “allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.”
- Trump wants to make insurance premiums tax deductible
His argument is that since businesses are able to deduct payments for insurance premiums from their taxes, individuals should also be able to take those exemptions. “As we allow the free market to provide insurance coverage opportunities to companies and individuals, we must also make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance,” according to his plan.
- He thinks healthcare is a universal right
Politico article writes that Trump has frequently said all Americans should receive access to healthcare, and the government should make sure no one is “dying on the streets.” That’s a good thought, except it doesn’t fit with his plan to eliminate the ACA mandate, requiring all individuals above a certain economic threshold to purchase health insurance.
- He intends to establish health saving accounts
Trump wants to give Americans the option to contribute to tax-free health saving accounts, making them a part of an individual’s estate. This also means that individuals won’t be penalized for transferring assets to heirs or to other family members.
- He will require price transparency from insurers
According to his plan, “Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.” He especially wants physicians, clinics and hospitals to provide transparent information, but it’s not clear how he plans to accomplish this.
- Trump wants to remove barriers for international pharmaceutical companies wishing to enter the U.S. market
“Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service,” his plan reads. This means that if international pharmaceutical companies offer reliable, safe and cheaper products, Mr. Trump thinks Americans should have the option to purchase them. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has proposed similar ideas.
- He wants stricter laws on providing care to undocumented immigrants
According to Trump, this will lift economic pressures off Americans. According to his plan, this will also help in job creation and reduce the amount of people on Medicaid.
- Trump sees a need to reform mental health programs
According to this plan, “Families, without the ability to get the information needed to help those who are ailing, are too often not given the tools to help their loved ones.” The plan also states Congress is developing “promising” reforms that should receive bipartisan support.
- He said other reform could be considered
Trump stated that he will consider other plans that present lower costs, more certainty and financial security for Americans.
- Critics of Mr. Trump’s plan say it is simply another Republican healthcare proposal
“The fact that his healthcare ‘plan’ is clearly cribbed from worn-out and false GOP talking points proves that Trump is just another Republican politician who wants to take healthcare away from millions of Americans without offering any substantive alternative,” Democratic National Committee Communications Director Luis Miranda said in a statement, according to Reuters.
- The GOP is not sold on Mr. Trump’s plan
According to The Hill, Republicans doubt their nominee because there’re inconsistencies in Trump’s terms of healthcare policy. This comes from the fact that Trump promised to insure all Americans, but his plan does not state any overarching expansions. Moreover, his claims to protect patients with pre-existing conditions aren’t mentioned in the plan.