Lion of the Blogosphere

Trump’s healthcare plan

Link to the plan.

The idea behind Obamacare is that people who aren’t poor enough to qualify for Medicaid (especially under the pre-Obamacare rules), but are still pretty poor, should nevertheless have access to healthcare that they can afford given their limited means.

TrueCon’s HATE the idea of that, but I like it. (I probably wouldn’t have liked it back in the days when I used to be libertarian, but now I like it.) There are many aspects of the execution of Obamacare that suck, but the basic idea of affordability I agree with.

Trump’s “plan” is really just standard TrueCon orthodoxy to repeal Obamacare and not replace it with anything.

Trump proposes seven free market reforms, all of which are very good ideas, and it makes you wonder why the hell those ideas never became law before Obamacare (I especially like #5), but it still doesn’t address a lot of fundamental problems that Obamacare was trying to address.

This is pretty disappointing. Just as with the tax plan released many months ago, after Trump teased us with the idea that he was really going to rebel against the conservative orthodoxy, in the end his “plan” is pretty much the same plan that Ted Cruz has.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 2, 2016 at 11:32 PM

64 Responses

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  1. His highly orthodox tax and healthcare plan (and the healthcare plan is especially ineffectual, lightweight stuff) makes me worry that when in office he will fall under the sway of orthodox advisers even on trade and immigration. I’m sure he’ll still be more anti-immigration and anti-trade than any other candidate, at least in rhetoric, but I could see him being talked out of his tariff proposals and instead just do tax breaks for corporations to prevent inversions — which would do zero to bring back jobs that are already gone, and just give corporations more money. On immigration his advisers will probably talk him into letting him keep H-1Bs and temporary workers, though he probably would carry through his promises to better enforce the border and will probably ramp up deportations.

    The more specific Trump’s stuff gets the more orthodox Republican it is. He might be a bit less interventionist in foreign policy as compared to the other Republicans or Hillary.

    Healthcare was one big thing it seemed Trump would be different and more populist on. Very bad proposal from him here, there is no policy at all and it all will be incredibly ineffectual.


    March 2, 2016 at 11:38 PM

    • Lightweight is the word. The phrase “eliminating waste and fraud” is one hint.

      A serious proposal needs some kind of cost control. You just can’t shake the free market at something and get a better deal. The courts get involved and mandate certain levels of care; and all the hospitals get vested in $12 Tylenol pills et al to cover Baumol’s cost disease and hear we are.


      March 3, 2016 at 12:30 AM

      • How does it compare to Rubio’s health care plan?


        March 3, 2016 at 12:34 PM

  2. “Block-grant Medicaid to the states. Nearly every state already offers benefits beyond what is required in the current Medicaid structure. The state governments know their people best and can manage the administration of Medicaid far better without federal overhead. States will have the incentives to seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse to preserve our precious resources.”

    Neoliberal code for cuts. Trump talked about caring about getting people healthcare who couldn’t afford it but his plan has every indication that fewer people would have access to healthcare than now. I guess it was really silly to believe Trump was genuine about wanting to get people covered. Even worse is if he is genuine and his advisers convinced him this is good policy.


    March 2, 2016 at 11:42 PM

    • I have a feeling Trump has next to zero understanding what the average American’s experience with health care is like.

      Martin F.

      March 3, 2016 at 1:28 AM

      • You don’t say?

        Of course, when was the last time that Hillary Clinton had to go to a “primary care physician” to get approval to see a specialist? I bet that never happened either.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 3, 2016 at 9:16 AM

      • Say what you want about Hillary, but she has been obsessed with the ins and outs of American health care for a very long time.

        Martin F.

        March 3, 2016 at 9:53 AM

      • OK, I give her credit for that.

        Gasp, she might even be a better president for fixing Obamacare than anyone else.

        Unfortunately, she will continue Obama’s illegal executive orders to give quasi-legal amnesty to illegals and not enforce the borders. But better than Kasich who will give them legal amnesty within 100 days. Republicans in Congress would at least oppose the same plan from Hillary.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 3, 2016 at 9:56 AM

      • you have to see a general practitioner in australia too before you can get to a specialist. its a huge waste of time and just pure medical industry featherbedding.

        james n.s.w

        March 3, 2016 at 11:00 AM

      • Is healthcare less important than illegal immigration? I don’t know. I’d take a better healthcare system but I also live in a state that doesn’t have many illegals.


        March 3, 2016 at 4:26 PM

    • “Neoliberal code for cuts.”

      I never understood the leftist hatred of block grants for Medicaid. The states already run the Medicaid program and block granting it gives them a great deal of freedom in designing programs and trying out new ideas; 50 laboratories of democracy and all that. Vermont would probably give another try at their single payer plan.

      Mike Street Station

      March 3, 2016 at 6:28 AM

      • I never understood the leftist hatred of block grants for Medicaid.

        The leftists don’t trust the red states to “fairly” administer Medicaid. Liberals and leftists prefer DC-based central planning. “Trust me, I’m from the federal government.”

        E. Rekshun

        March 3, 2016 at 10:31 AM

      • The proposal for block granting Medicaid which has been part of the Paul Ryan budget proposals also included a 25% cut in Medicaid spending, in addition to eliminating the increases in Medicaid spending under Obamacare. The block granting was really just a cowardly way for Congress to make huge cuts in Medicaid spending and not have to decide which people would die because they could not get access to health care. They left that decision to the states.

        Trump’s health care plan, at least the part I read, does not mention the 25% cut in Medicaid spending, but given the massive tax cuts Trump has proposed, even a 100% cut in Medicaid spending would not make up for the lost revenue from his tax cuts.

        In the last debate when pressed on the point that Trumps tax cuts would make the deficit far worse, Trump mumbled and finally mentions the fairy dust of trickle down economics. Just standard Republican wishful thinking.


        March 3, 2016 at 10:55 AM

  3. Trump is an American. America will never stand for single payer or a mandate. Never.

    That’s just the way it is.

    Andrew E.

    March 2, 2016 at 11:42 PM

  4. They should get rid of insurance, since no one pays full price anyway. Those who are too poor to have insurance (ie white underemployed males, not entitled females or ghetto blacks on welfare) just go without medication or doctor visits or whatever.

    The existence of insurance companies does, however, jack up real prices for everyone astronomically.


    March 3, 2016 at 12:21 AM

    • Strangely enough, it’s done without even showing any great profits for the middle men (insurers). Truly a terrible system.

      I get the impression that part of the problem is pricing in the presence of Medicare/Medicaid, which as I understand it require the ‘best price’ from participants. That’s why there is ridiculous oral pricing that has to be haggled down a la Proof of Life (2000).

      One approach could be to provide universal Medicaid at a modest level of service (European, say) with restricted recourse to lawsuits and awards and no free second opinions or expensive just-to-be-sure checks; introduce queues for treatment (where you may die waiting because of lack of resources, just like waiting for a liver or something); some co-pay to limit usage; no or Soviet Union dental, etc, and leave the primo quality heroic stuff to an insurance or private payment market on top of that.

      It would of course still be hated intensely by the left, so why bother, but perhaps the system would stabilize at a healthier level. Jack up payroll taxes and perhaps introduce a tax on pensions to fund the system, say at 10% of GDP for universal basic Medicare/Medicaid, again this is Euro level. I’ll leave the illegals and other free riders for someone else to consider. The hatred of the left could perhaps be deflected by saying it’s the Euro system you begged for, now live with it. Insurers would presumably dwindle. Also, health care workers would of course hate it since it would likely reduce their salaries. Maybe you would need to nationalize the hospitals as well.

      (The other approach is to do Sanders single payer and let the rising whine of the taxed SWPLs nourish your soul.)


      March 3, 2016 at 12:09 PM

      • Nationalize the hospitals? Have you ever been inside a VA hospital? Crumbling facilities and massive red tape making it impossible to get anything done efficiently are characteristic, and my experience was at one of the better VA’s staffed largely by residents and attending physicians from a local university hospital.


        March 3, 2016 at 2:41 PM

      • Well, perhaps you just have to get used to it.


        March 3, 2016 at 3:06 PM

      • Glengarry outlined an eminently practical approach, but the deal breaker is the line restricted recourse to lawsuits and awards. Tennessee started down this road with their Tenncare program, but activists got the courts to mandate against the “modest care” provisions, and we’re back to what we have now.

        Strangely enough, it’s done without even showing any great profits for the middle men (insurers).

        But it employs a lot of people, or makes work for a lot of people. Our health care system is largely a jobs program. When someone says, “cut costs” I read “cut the number of people employed”. And to where are all these cashiered people to go?


        March 4, 2016 at 7:13 AM


    Life is simpler for Trump if he isn’t behind in too many of the upcoming closed primaries. His job right now is to demonstrate that he does a good enough job of representing the interests of Republican voters; give him a few months to demonstrate that he can take care of enough of the rest of the downtrodden too.


    March 3, 2016 at 12:21 AM

    • The issue of open vs closed primaries is a very crucial point nearly all of the media and lion have missed. trump is badly underperforming in closed primaries (was projected to win OK by 11 points), and as unstoppable as he seems, if he gets creamed on Saturday, in which all the primaries are closed, the tide could absolutely turn decisively toward Cruz. The closed vs open issue makes the duration of the primaries far more unpredictable than is being recognized.


      March 3, 2016 at 1:34 AM

      • I don’t see why the closed vs. open primaries is a big deal. Open primaries establish your party registration until the next election. If an open primary affects the presidential outcome, then you would expect more voters in the election than you would party registrants.

        For example, if Trump voters are being drawn in from other party affiliations, then you would expect the number of voters within the Republican primary to be greater than the number of registered Republicans. I don’t think that has happened.


        March 3, 2016 at 9:27 AM

      • To hurt him that much, they’d need to be winner-take-all too.


        March 3, 2016 at 1:47 PM

  6. I liked the block grant for medicaid to the states idea: .


    March 3, 2016 at 12:22 AM

  7. You say you’re disappointed, but how can you be surprised? All of his faintly-detailed, non-immigration proposals are milquetoast GOPe retreads. That’s the ultimate irony of his candidacy– he’s putting forth the same garbage the DC Republicans have always championed.

    Buying insurance across state lines is a JOKE without strong federal standards, and repealing obamacare would undo them. What good is cut-rate insurance from Alabama that doesn’t cover anything? And that being the case, why bother at all if there’s no mandate and the federal government will end up footing the bill for your catastrophic injury anyway?

    Price transparency is a great idea– for any other market than healthcare. You don’t “shop around” for the cheapest heart stent when your cardio-vascular system is on the brink or search out a discount MRI after you just shredded your ACL. All things being equal, you seek out treatment ASAP, and worry about costs later. Shopping around would likely lead to more deaths and bad outcomes, and leave desperate customers vulnerable to the fine print (sorry, your cheapo MRI doesn’t include image diagnostics — that’s extra!). So yeah, just more film-flam garbage that actually worsens things.

    Not that any of this will hurt his candidacy, because policy is merely incidental, almost a perfunctory nuisance that simply gets in the way of #winning. That’s how weak the GOPe is — the guy they loathe actually has adopted their shit domestic policies and repackaged them, but they can’t accept him, so they might decide to smash the whole thing up so nobody can win in November.


    March 3, 2016 at 1:16 AM

    • Both reforms are good ideas, but as you point out, neither solves big problems like what happens when you get a heart attack and don’t have any opportunity to shop around, or if you can’t afford any of the health insurance anyway especially if there’s no requirement to sell it to you despite pre-existing conditions.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 3, 2016 at 9:15 AM

      • if you can’t afford any of the health insurance anyway

        This is the problem w/ obamacare for those that don’t qualify for a meaningful subsidy. I’m familiar with a few early retirees that are going bare because the obamacare plans are $600+ per month. If you’ve got $1 million invested for your retirement, and it’s throwing off $40K after taxes, then your obamacare health insurance premiums are going to eat up close to 20% of your income, more if you actually need to use it.

        Lion, how are you obtaining health insurance these days?

        E. Rekshun

        March 3, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    • I work in critical care, and I agree with all of this. “Do everything” is something I hear every day — with no regard to cost or efficacy of treatment. We put homeless people on continuous dialysis at a cost of nearly $100,000 a day — per patient.

      And it doesn’t matter how much you save elsewhere in health care when you have people taking their kids to the ER every time they get an earache (or an STD).

      Trump’s plan addresses none of this — except to say immigrants should not receive emergency care. And HSA’s? … That idea was a stinker when McCain ran it out, and it’s a stinker now.

      More of the same. Yawn.


      March 3, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    • Price transparency is a great idea– for any other market than healthcare. You don’t “shop around” for the cheapest heart stent when your cardio-vascular system is on the brink or search out a discount MRI after you just shredded your ACL.

      I’ve never known anyone to “shop around” for medical service. Neither I nor anyone on this blog would know how to effectively do that. Most Americans cannot even effectively shop for a new car w/o drastically overpaying, and used car purchases are as-is buyer-beware.

      E. Rekshun

      March 3, 2016 at 10:37 AM

      • So true about people overpaying for cars – new or used. I had been looking a while back for a DVD about how to buy a used car (for my nephew, I’m not a driver.) I found only two titles still in print. The other was a used VHS for $50. Considering how even the poorest Americans tend to operate vehicles, this is pretty surprising. There are a million books on how to save money in general, and numerous ones about saving money on a house, on clothing, on food, etc….


        March 3, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    • Yeah, you’re wrong on the transparency. There are a LOT of healthcare procedures for which people have the time to shop around. Even staggeringly expensive ones. You get quite a fair amount of time, for example, to think about how you’re going to deal with many cancers.

      Can you imagine how expensive dentistry would be if prices weren’t transparent?


      March 3, 2016 at 12:33 PM

      • Thank you for bringing some sanity in house here. Points 5 and 7 of Trump’s plan basically imply an end to the medical/drug industry cartels which artificially raise health care costs 500% or more. Similar savings to Medicare and Medicaid would effectively end the annual fiscal deficit by the federal government.

        Andrew E.

        March 3, 2016 at 1:50 PM

  8. Trump gets people to write these elaborate plans for him yet he never actually cites or defends them in debates. He really only has about one sentence to say about any given issue, and for healthcare it’s “Obamacare is a disaster, we are going to get rid of it.” Way too much was made of his “I like the mandate” comment which was clearly just blurted out in confused moment and hardly represented a firm statement of policy.

    I really have zero clue how he would govern. Is he just going to be a figurehead president who delegates all responsibility to underlings with vague instructions? The campaign itself doesn’t even appear to be particularly well-run, he’s just doing well because he was already famous, a certain faction of people are fanatically in love with him, and he gets something like 70% of all the media coverage. Is there any evidence he’s even in control?

    Martin F.

    March 3, 2016 at 1:26 AM

  9. The foreign-trade plan isn’t much better. Explicitly says no protectionism, and instead lists Republican boilerplate: declare China a currency manipulator, enforce intellectual property rights, lower corporate tax rates. Disappointing.


    March 3, 2016 at 1:28 AM

    • He talks about a 35% tariff in his speeches sometimes but that’s nowhere to be found in his actual proposal. The proposal as written is total nonsense and will do zero to bring jobs backs from China or keep them from going.


      March 3, 2016 at 10:39 AM

  10. You need to see this as a political document and not a policy statement. Trump would be a fool to describe exactly which power interests — along with details about exactly how deep — he is going to screw on Health Care.

    He has a political problem, he has to have more than one or two ideas and these ideas have to not raise too much of a ruckus among powerful health care interests. Trump is already under attack from so many big money players.

    He needs strategic ambiguity. He needs to be promising us voters universal health care while giving bland and safe policy papers. Look what happened when Bernie Sanders gave a detailed program for Single Payer? He got hammered by Liberals like Paul Krugman.

    Strategic ambiguity works both ways, is Trump sending dog whistles to the voters that he is going to do something about Health Care but in the end will do nothing? This is of course always possible. But on the other hand, candidates promise the world and often deliver nothing.

    We the voters are being asked to place a Trump’s Wager which is a version of Pascal’s Wager. It posits that voters all bet with their votes that either Trump will deliver on his stated policies or that he will not. Based on the assumption that America would be greater if Trump delivers and that there is at least a small probability that Trump in fact will deliver, a rational person should vote as though Trump will deliver and seek to believe in Trump. If Trump does not deliver, such a person will have no loss to speak of since no other candidate will ever deliver any of the things Trump is promising anyway.

    Haven Monahan

    March 3, 2016 at 4:35 AM

    • I really don’t buy the Scott Adams idea that Trump is some strategic mastermind.

      I think what’s happening is that his campaign is governed by two independently-moving factions. You have Trump himself, who just struts around doing whatever and seeing his poll numbers rise, and his various behind-the-scenes people, many of whom are very traditional Republicans, who spin his words in the press, write his policy papers, and generally create the illusion that this surprisingly successful celebrity flight of fancy is actually a competent and coherent political campaign.

      Martin F.

      March 3, 2016 at 10:00 AM

  11. @LotB: There are many aspects of the execution of Obamacare that suck, but the basic idea of affordability I agree with.

    The subsidy might make health insurance under obamacare affordable to low-income workers that earn too much for medicaid, but it’s costly for middle-income workers that earn too much for a subsidy. I think the subsidy fades out at something like $46K annual income.

    I set up an account on to see what an obamacare health insurance plan would cost me. At age at 50, w/o a subsidy, the plans ran $400 to $500 per month, with annual deductibles of $6000+. Preventive care is fully covered under all plans w/ just a small or $0 copay, but the monthly premiums + annual deductible would run over $12K per year, every year, before insurance kicked in to pay any serious medical need. I don’t think that’s affordable, and it’s putting a crinkle on my early retirement plans. I’d rather buy a low-premium, high-deductible catastrophic plan and pay my own preventive care, but I can’t find that any more.

    Though, on the other hand, obamacare makes it so no one can be denied health insurance.

    E. Rekshun

    March 3, 2016 at 4:55 AM

    • At age at 50, w/o a subsidy, the plans ran $400 to $500 per month, with annual deductibles of $6000+. … I’d rather buy a low-premium, high-deductible catastrophic plan and pay my own preventive care, but I can’t find that any more.

      Though, on the other hand, obamacare makes it so no one can be denied health insurance.

      Maybe those two are somehow connected.


      March 3, 2016 at 12:14 PM

  12. Just read his health care proposal. I disagree with the first point. I support the individual mandate for the same reason I support laws requiring drivers to carry collision. People should be required to carry insurance coverage for any treatment the law requires hospitals to treat. Otherwise, free-loaders will abuse emergency rooms and the costs will be transferred to other patients. I’m hoping he added that in to use as a bargaining chip with congress. Aside from that, I’m very pleased with Trump’s healthcare proposal. It’s even better than I was expecting.

    I also read his proposals for US-China trade reforms. I’m very excited about it and have no objections to any of them. I would, however, add an additional reform that Warren Buffet originally suggested in this FORTUNE article from 2003.

    Click to access growing.pdf


    March 3, 2016 at 6:22 AM

  13. Trump’s plan is basically a first step. In fact, it looks like most of this was cribbed from the plan Romney ran on in 2012. These are all good ideas but it’s not going to replace Obamacare since it doesn’t deal with pre-existing conditions and paying for health insurance premiums for low income people. Actually John McCain’s plan, that he ran with in 2008, was a pretty good comprehensive plan that dealt with this.I didn’t agree with all of the particulars but it’s a good start. I collected a few right leaning health plan ideas here so there are a lot more ideas to build on.

    Mike Street Station

    March 3, 2016 at 6:36 AM

  14. Interesting.

    These’re all Libertarian proposals (that the GOP has often opposed) except for 1. The libertarians got rid of the individual mandate in the courts, something the GOPe doesn’t understand yet.


    March 3, 2016 at 7:29 AM

  15. Of the 45 million or so who lacked health insurance (they all had health care via ER’s if needed), only about 15 million were truly unable to afford it. The rest were either self-insured rich people or young healthy people who a most needed some sort of catastrophy insurance. The true needy could have been accomodated by expanding the eligibility requirements of Medicaid.

    Of course, the point was to tax the people without insurance to fund the greatly expanded benefits list. Ironically, there are still tens of millions of Americans without health insurance.

    bob sykes

    March 3, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    • This is an excellent and true observation.

      E. Rekshun

      March 3, 2016 at 10:46 AM

  16. Healthcare is simply impossible to fix. It is, essentially, a ‘right.’ (if someone gets hit by a car, do we let them die unless they have insurance? What if its a kid? A pregnant woman? ). But publicly provided services suck because the providers don’t have skin in the game (US Post Office vs. Federal Express, for instance).

    So, you are stuck with one of two bad outcomes. Either not everybody gets healthcare (and people or suffer from treatable conditions) or that healthcare is worse (because it is government sponsored, and government employees aren’t responsible for their behavior to the same degree that private employees are).

    No juggling is going to change these two fundamentals. So any healthcare situation is going to suffer from one or the other, to varying degrees. Its simply an insoluble problem.



    March 3, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    • It’s pretty impressive that the Post Office delivers a letter anywhere in the U.S. for only a few cents. Don’t knock it. They are as efficient as any private company, especially given their mandate to provide service to everyone and not just to whom it’s profitable.

      Of course, at least in NYC, the people who staff the service windows suck at giving service.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 3, 2016 at 9:24 AM

    • This is a very objective look at the problem. Thank you.

      And since the situation is as you say, combined with the fact that Americans broadly will never accept single payer or a mandate, we are where we are.

      Andrew E.

      March 3, 2016 at 9:33 AM

      • “Americans broadly will never accept single payer or a mandate”

        Fun fact: Medicare is a dreaded government run single payer health care system. The people using medicare are generally more satisfied with their health insurance coverage than the people using private insurance.

        The majority of people using medicare vote Republican too.


        March 3, 2016 at 11:33 AM

      • Medicare is for seniors. Medicare is for the poor. EMTALA is for the poor and unlucky.

        Americans bended, making certain exceptions out of compassion, but leaving their fundamental inclination towards personal and communal responsibility in place.

        Single payer would remove the principal of personal responsiblity completely and that’s a bridge too far for most Americans.

        Andrew E.

        March 3, 2016 at 11:49 AM

      • “Medicare is for seniors”

        So? What difference does that make? Seniors are more likely to need health care than younger people.

        What you don’t understand is that your personal health is fundamentally an un-insurable risk. If you and your family are all healthy, then you can buy health insurance at a reasonable rate. If some member of your family is seriously ill, say has cancer, then the health insurance company can look at your family and say, “It is going to cost us at least $200,000 to insure this family for a year.” Why would the insurance company write you a policy for less than $200,000? Once a member of your family is seriously ill, there is no insurable risk, there is an absolute certainty of huge medical bills.

        Health insurance only works because most Americans do not buy health insurance for their families. Their employers buy health insurance for all their employees and families. The insurance company can look at the whole pool of families. There are some seriously ill people in that pool, but taken as a whole the health expenses of the pool of people is an insurable risk.

        All Obamacare does is provide another mechanism to form pool of people who are not covered by employer insurance.

        Medicare was created as a government run single payer system for seniors because they are no longer employed and cannot get employer health insurance. In the 1960s insurance companies were simply not interested in offering individual health insurance to seniors.


        March 3, 2016 at 2:49 PM

      • So? What difference does that make?

        It matters because there is an ethos running through America from the very beginning of personal and communal responsibility. This is an axiom, it cannot be proven or disproven. It is a metaphysical assumption about the world and man and conclusions follow logically from it.

        Thus even if private health care could never work well (I disagree) Americans broadly would still choose that over a hypothetically more efficient national single payer system.

        And to the extent the government should get involved beyond the exceptions carved out over time for the elderly and the indigent (as families, communities and churches have weakened), it is to make sure insurance companies are financially sound and to prevent the (now widespread) collusion between medical providers and drug companies.

        Andrew E.

        March 3, 2016 at 3:15 PM

    • The Post Office is a private entity now. It has been for decades. It has some government privileges, but so do many other entities.

      It’s even lowering postage costs.


      March 3, 2016 at 11:11 PM

  17. all of Trump’s policy proposals, including the ones on immigration are obviously ghost written. He is a big picture guy and delegates the details out to people he trusts. He also doesn’t take his policy papers seriously.

    When in office it will all be about negotiation.

    Otis the Sweaty

    March 3, 2016 at 8:51 AM

  18. The actual healthcare plan is not relevant. There are 30 million illegal aliens in this country using emergency rooms for their healthcare. ER doctors are $500 an hour specialists. It’s like going to a surgeon to deal with the flu. Once these illegals are removed, a precipitous drain on healthcare resources will be removed as well.

    Obamacare is just another attack on the middle class to provide benefits to the high-low alliance of Democrats.


    March 3, 2016 at 8:53 AM

  19. One possible solution to pre-existing conditions that doesn’t require an individual mandate:

    This brings me to Mr. Trump’s other option. To keep our existing national 90 day open enrollment period which was originally an idea used by 10 different states long before the PPACA. However, if Mr. Trump chooses this option, he absolutely must correct the mistake made by the ‘masterminds’ who wrote the PPACA. That mistake was not allowing health insurers to underwrite normal paper throughout the year. This was allowed in states like Ohio (and 9 other states) long before the PPACA. In fact, that’s where the ‘authors’ of the PPACA got the idea of a short annual open enrollment period for those with preexisting conditions. The state of Ohio was doing that for all Ohio residents for years before the PPACA. However, Ohio regulators did not stop health insurers from underwriting other coverage throughout the year. So, people with preexisting conditions that were severe enough to warrant a decline (cancer, diabetes, morbid obesity etc.) could purchase health insurance during the annual open enrollment window and everyone else could buy health insurance throughout the rest of the year whenever they wanted. Best part? That system worked remarkably well without the unconstitutional imposition of an ‘individual mandate’ to purchase health insurance.

    By allowing health insurers to underwrite other consumers with less severe preexisting conditions like hypertension or hyperlipidimia throughout the rest of the year, health insurers were able to mitigate the risk they would have to assume during the annual open enrollment period. The ‘masterminds’ who wrote the PPACA decided that part wasn’t such a good idea to include. You know, because they didn’t want those ‘evil’ insurance companies ‘discriminating’ against anyone. How exactly is that ‘discriminating’ when the carriers were still offering those consumers coverage and covering their preexisting conditions? It’s not, but the masterminds of the PPACA decided to place their Leftist ideology ahead of time tested and proven business models. Surely we can do better.

    Andrew E.

    March 3, 2016 at 10:00 AM

  20. Like Lion I have come to the conclusion that some sort of government funded health program is needed. Obamacare have 1 good provision and that is to increase medicaid. Trump’s plan is disappointing.

    1) Eliminate individual mandate: You must have individual mandate if you’re not going to allow anyone to die in the streets.

    2) Selling health insurance across state – all insurance companies will relocate to the state with the least stringent rules like corporations to Delaware and credit cards to South Dakota.

    3) Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns: Another giveaway to high earners. Most people who cannot afford insurance don’t pay that much in taxes.

    4) Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): Already have this and it mainly benefits high earners who don’t even use HSA for healthcare costs but as a way to leave tax-free money and investments to their heirs

    5) Require price transparency from all healthcare providers: some potential benefit

    6) Block-grant Medicaid to the states: states like Massachusetts will use the benefits to make Medicaid better. Dysfunctional states will make medicaid worse and right-wing governors may try to deny poor people medicaid because its a “handout.”

    7) Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers: I support this


    March 3, 2016 at 11:15 AM

  21. Strategically speaking, I think Trump should be pretty conservative (in the sens of not standing out from the crowd) in most of his proposals and just go for the immigration issue, with a secondary focus on trade atop that, and perhaps get rid of the loose cannons who start wars all over the world.

    It seems unwise to promise to change everything at once, and foolish to try to actually do it. Trump should actually promise as little as possible in my opinion to avoid muddying the proposal. (That doesn’t mean he should ignore everything else, of course. Just keep the other stuff in the back pocket until needed.)

    For example, let people grow tired with Obamacare the next four years and see if it’s an interesting issue for the next election. Then do the same with most other issues on the laundry list.


    March 3, 2016 at 12:49 PM

  22. Those who criticize Trump as just some celebrity with no substance fail to realize that before he was on TV, he had been (and continues to be) a successful entrepreneur, job-producer, negotiator, deal-maker, and problem-solver. That’s more competence and experience than any of the other candidates on either side to run the country. He would be the CEO of the nation, and most successful CEOs are typically short on details in the beginning but will ultimately work them out, provided that they have the vision and wisdom to pick the right team, and the flexibility and problem-solving skills to deal with unforeseen issues that may come up later. I think that’s why many voters are putting their faith on him; it’s not a blind faith. Is there a better alternative candidate? Is there someone else who has actually accomplished something in real life, especially something so broad and substantial?


    March 3, 2016 at 1:08 PM

  23. ‘Trump’s “plan” is really just standard TrueCon orthodoxy to repeal Obamacare and not replace it with anything.’

    Works for me and for most non-loser White people. When someone hands you a shit sandwich, it’s perfectly fine to respond: No, I’d rather not partake of your shit sandwich. No one should be forced at gunpoint to eat Bathhouse Barry’s shit sandwich just because they haven’t crafted their own, less-disgusting alternative shit sandwich. I will vote for any candidate, which right now is Trump and Cruz, who vow to repeal 0samaTax.



    March 3, 2016 at 1:25 PM

  24. In my view merely building hotels, golf courses, and casinos does not qualify one to run a nation. Trump will simply continue the conservative GOP mantra of enriching the rich and further the divide between rich and poor. While the ACA isn’t perfect one cannot deny that 15 million people who couldn’t get health insurance before are insured now. I wouldn’t vote for Trump for dog catcher.


    March 6, 2016 at 8:05 AM

  25. I might have voted for Christie or Kasich, but the sheeple fell for Trump’s populist BS.


    March 6, 2016 at 9:36 PM

  26. […] have clear and realistic economic plans and instead copies the mainstream conservative doctrine on things like taxation and healthcare. Now, those considered, Trump doesn’t appear to be much of a deeply principled […]

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