Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled a healthcare reform plan Wednesday to “Make America Great Again,” this time with more details to quell criticisms that his ideas are too vague.
Of course, Mr. Trump’s plan starts with a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. “We will work with Congress to make sure we have a series of reforms ready for implementation that follow free market principles and that will restore economic freedom and certainty to everyone in this country,” his campaign website reads.
He breaks down his plan into the following seven reforms that Congress must act on.
1. Repeal the ACA. Mr. Trump wants to eliminate the mandate that requires all individuals above a certain economic threshold to have health coverage.
2. Allow the sale of health insurance across state lines. “By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up,” his proposal says.
3. Make health insurance premium payments fully deductible on tax returns. Mr. Trump says he believes individuals should be allowed to take these deductions because businesses can. “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,” his proposal reads.
4. Establish individual health savings accounts. Mr. Trump wants to make contributions to HSAs tax-free and part of an individual’s estate so that they could pass on the assets to heirs or be used by any family member without penalty. This policy is similar to what candidate Ben Carson, MD, who recently dropped out of the race, had proposed.
5. Require price transparency from providers. Mr. Trump believes individuals should be able to shop around for the best healthcare prices. He does not provide more detail on how he would achieve this.
6. Restructure Medicaid to convert it to a block grant run by the states. Mr. Trump wants to give states the power to manage Medicaid, including fraud, waste and abuse protections.
7. Remove barriers to entry for international pharmaceutical companies, provided they offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. “Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers,” his plan reads. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has proposed similar ideas.
He adds additional goals at the end of his plan that include stricter immigration laws to help cut costs of providing care to undocumented immigrants, job creation to reduce those on Medicaid and better mental health programs.
Critics have called his plan just another Republican healthcare plan, save for his ideas about prescription drugs, which are typically supported by Democrats.
“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.