On November 8, Americans will have the chance to go to the polls and elect the next president of the United States.
Both major parties, Republican and Democrat, will make their cases to voters in the coming weeks.
Perhaps one of the most divisive topics is healthcare, and how to reform it.
Here’s where Donald Trump stands on healthcare reform, based on information taken from his campaign website and public statements.
Affordable Care Act
Donald Trump is strongly against the Affordable Care Act and has called it a “terrible” piece of legislation that was enacted by the most “divisive and partisan” president in US history. He has criticised the Affordable Care Act as having “resulted in runaway costs, websites that don’t work, greater rationing of care, higher premiums, less competition and fewer choices.”
Frequently touting that he will “repeal and replace” Obamacare, Trump has suggested that, as president, he will work with Congress to adhere to free-market principles as much as possible.
Trump supports modifying laws that are on the books and that prevent insurance companies from selling in different states. Currently, health insurance is regulated at the state level, and insurers must obtain a licence to offer plans in individual states. Many firms, such as UnitedHealthcare, Cigna, and Aetna, offer plans in multiple states. As free-market competition goes up, Trump asserts that prices and premiums will eventually go down.
While more competition would in theory lower prices, it’s unclear how Trump’s proposals would create legitimate competition among healthcare providers.
Trump supports amending the current tax code to allow consumers to deduct health-insurance costs from their taxes. He also claims that he wants to review current Medicaid stipulations to ensure that people don’t “slip through the cracks” just because they can’t afford health insurance, though he wants to leave Medicaid reform up to the states. He has also said that he would support relaxing current regulations around Health Savings Accounts and require price transparency from healthcare providers, though he has not explained how.
Citing that providing healthcare to those who enter the US illegally costs the US $11 billion a year, he has said he will do his best to eradicate this cost by hunkering down on illegal immigration, arguably the most prominent issue Trump is running on.
Trump’s vice presidential running mate Mike Pence also sharply criticised Obamacare during Tuesday’s vice presidential debate. Noting that former president Bill Clinton had slammed Obamacare as “the craziest thing in the world,” Pence said at the debate that “Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine want to build on Obamacare. They want to expand it into a single-payer program. And for all the world, Hillary Clinton just thinks Obamacare is a good start.” He reaffirmed that if Trump is elected president, his administration would move to repeal Obamacare “lock, stock, and barrel.”
Trump has also called for mental-health reform, claiming that under the current system, families and patients are not receiving the care and support they require. He has announced his support for “promising reforms” being developed in Congress, though he has not specified which ones.
In response to his candidate questionnaire from the International Association of Chiefs of Police about law enforcement’s role in mental-health intervention, Trump said that “unfortunately, law enforcement will have to continue to play a role in how we proceed as a nation with mental health reform.”
He also expressed his hope that “community services and family involvement” would play a larger role in combatting mental-health problems as the nation moved toward solving the problem but offered no elaboration.
With regard to drug prices, Trump has said that the government needs to lower barriers into the market for drug companies that can offer “safe, reliable and cheaper products.” He has also noted that drug companies, though a part of the private pharmaceutical industry, provide a “public service,” and, as such, consumers should be given access to more options that include “safe and dependable drugs from overseas.”
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