Unrealistic Healthcare proposals

From his web site, here are analyses of his solutions to our healthcare crisis.

1. “Completely repeal Obamacare.”

Obamacare is deeply flawed partially due to Republican refusal to work with it. This in spite of its originating in the conservative Heritage foundation and Romney care.

This cuts off tens of millions from healthcare and solves nothing. It brings back pre-existing conditions discrimination. And a lot more.

2. “Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. As long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state. By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up. ”

This would lead to lack of standardization with plenty of fine print for consumer confusion. It could also lead to a “free market” competition between states to attract insurance companies by offering the most lax regulations. It would be easy for a large corporation to use campaign contributions to get lax regulations in small states and then sell nationwide. All of this would work against the consumer.

3. “Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system.”

This is already the law. Whatever an individual pays for insurance premiums is tax deductible.

4. “Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate. These accounts would become part of the estate of the individual and could be passed on to heirs without fear of any death penalty. These plans should be particularly attractive to young people who are healthy and can afford high-deductible insurance plans. These funds can be used by any member of a family without penalty. The flexibility and security provided by HSAs will be of great benefit to all who participate.”

The big problem with this is “HSAs will be of great benefit for all who participate.” Those in the lower third to half in income will find it hard to impossible to participate. The proposal is not specific about how much can be put into HSA’s each year. Does Mr.Trump mean “tax deductible” and not “tax free”?

5. “Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals. Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.”

This would be a step forward, but has drawbacks. Networks sharply limit the markets and choices. Consumers are mostly influenced by copays which are almost always the same so they won’t shop. It would have a positive effect on deductible shoppers.

6. “Block-grant Medicaid to the states. Nearly every state already offers benefits beyond what is required in the current Medicaid structure……..”

Many Republican states resisted and still resist expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. Many states have very low income caps and other restrictions for eliminating eligibility. Being just above these income levels makes tens of millions ineligible. These usually don’t have employer paid insurance and cannot afford it without Obamacare subsidies.

Conservatives resist expanding government healthcare. Medicaid payments are about 2/3’s of what full insurance payments are. Many doctors won’t take it at all.

A very naive “solution” by Mr. Trump. It shows Mr. Trump’s ignorance of the suffering of low income citizens from lack of healthcare.

7. “Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America. Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.”

Good idea, but it bypasses the monopolies given to drug companies allowing them to price gouge us in the first place.

Unless he can get Republicans to expand Medicaid seriously, none of Mr. Trump’s vague positions can have any significant effect on the severity of our healthcare crisis.

Mr. Trump shows an ignorance of why we are having out of control healthcare costs. His vague plans fail to address the many reasons:

  • The massive baby boom generation is aging along with the rest of the population.

  • Americans eat a poor diet of processed refined carbohydrates and one laced with sugar. This is causing skyrocketing illnesses like diabetes.

  • Americans don’t move enough. Too much sitting in front of TVs, computers and in cars. All this leads to things like obesity and diabetes.

  • Politicians are bought off by campaign contributions leading to drug price monopolies; and allowing regional hospital monopolies.

  • We suffer the highest healthcare administrative costs in the world  (15-20% of total spending) due to insurance company paperwork.

Trump’s positions show a lack of understanding of the size and complexity of our healthcare spending that is growing at a rate to double in 12 years.

Donald Trump has shown over and over again that he has an unsound mind that is getting worse as he ages. The last two Republican presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush won’t go near him, much less endorse him.

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Al Gore lost by only 550 votes in 2000.

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men and women do nothing.