This website is dedicated to providing factual information about the proposed healthcare reform of presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump, and what has been called by various individuals and media sources as Trumpcare. In no way is this website connected to, or controlled by, any political party, political figure, PAC, or Donald J. Trump. The sole purpose of this website is simply to provide factual, unbiased information about Donald J. Trump’s proposed healthcare reform policies. This site will be continually updated with information as it becomes available.
Donald J. Trump released more details of his healthcare reform plan, which many have coined as Trumpcare, on March 3, 2016 to, in his words, “Make America Great Again. Trump explains that he wants to add free market principles to his healthcare plan that will bring economic freedom and security to America and that his overall goal, according to his website, is to “broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans.”
At the close of Mr. Trump’s written proposal for healthcare reform, he states that he may consider and adopt other ideas so long as it brings down the overall costs of medical coverage to Americans.
We provide a detailed analysis of his seven-point plan for healthcare reform below.
Trumpcare Seven Point Healthcare Reform Plan
Step 1: Repeal Obamacare
According to Donald J. Trump’s website, the Affordable Care Act, which is also known as Obamacare, must be repealed in its entirety. He states that he will call on Congress to get this done on day one of his presidency. This complete repeal would also include the individual mandate that requires every American, unless they are excluded for a specific reason, to have health insurance coverage that meets the minimum essential required benefits or pay a tax penalty. According to the statement on Trump’s website, no individual should be forced to purchase health insurance if they do not want it.
Step 2: Allow Insurance Carriers to Sell Health Insurance Policies Across State Lines
According to the information published on his website, Donald Trump believes that if insurance carriers were permitted to sell individual plans across state lines, provided they comply with each state’s individual requirements for coverage, the increased competition within each state would result in a more competitive marketplace and overall lower costs for consumers seeking health insurance.
Step 3: Health Insurance Premium Costs Should Be a Tax Deduction
Mr. Trump believes that an individual or family should be allowed to deduct the total costs of their monthly premiums (the monthly payment required in order to have active health insurance coverage) from their annual health federal income taxes. He reasons that if an employer offered health insurance to its employees, those costs would be a deduction to the company so it should work the same for individuals and families.
As part of this step, Donald Trump also presents that we should review Medicaid (insurance for lower income families) and make sure that states offer coverage to those who want it. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid was only offered to pregnant women, children, elderly and disabled individuals and parents in specific circumstances. Medicaid did not cover low income adults though until the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was passed. A full repeal of Obamacare would obviously undo the Medicaid expansion as well. Donald Trump’s healthcare reform plan, Trumpcare, does not specifically explain whether he would keep any expansion of Medicaid, only that the plan needs to be reviewed.
Step 4: Allow people to use HSAs to pay their out-of-pocket health costs
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are savings accounts that are personal to the individual but can be funded not only by the individual, but also an employer. Donald Trump proposes that all individuals should be allowed to open an HSA. Presently, the IRS only allows certain individuals to open HSAs. Those people are:
- People who have a high deductible health plan (HDHP) meaning that your plan has a higher annual deductible than most;
- Those who have no other type of health insurance coverage;
- Those who are not enrolled in Medicare; and
- Those who cannot be claimed as a dependent by someone’s tax return for the preceding year.
Another restriction places on HSAs by the IRS presently is that HSAs may not be shared among family members. Every person in the family covered by a high deductible plan must have their only HSA.
Step 4 of Trumpcare stipulations that HSAs would be readily available to anyone who wanted to open one, meaning he would remove the IRS’ requirements, they could be shared among family members and passed on to heirs upon the HSA owner’s passing. Most importantly, Donald Trump would not disturb the characteristic of HSAs that makes them tax-free if the funds are used for medical expenses. Furthermore, if a person included the HSA funds in their estate upon passing, the money in the fund would pass to their heirs without being subject to any state or federal estate or death tax.
Mr. Trump anticipates that offering HSAs to all Americans would be particularly attractive to young people who would rather put money away into an account, tax-free, to accumulate over the years and pay the cost of a high deductible health plan that they may hardly use because they are healthy instead of getting a more expensive plan from the beginning.
Step 5: Price transparency from healthcare providers
Trumpcare’s fifth step states that Mr. Trump would demand that healthcare organizations like hospitals and rehab centers and healthcare providers like doctors must reveal the full costs of their services so that people can shop around for the best price, presuming they have multiple choices under their health insurance plan.
Although Donald Trump does not supply further explanation or rational, the concept behind this step is akin to the free market principles he wanted to inject into his healthcare reform.
Step 6: Stop federal financial Medicaid grants to the states
Another principle at the heart of Mr. Trump’s healthcare reform is the fact that we will save money used to fund public health programs like Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) if we improve the economy and provide Americans with more jobs.
Presently, the federal government jointly funds the Medicaid program with the states. States receive funding from the federal government for the Medicaid program in several ways.
First, they receive a Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage for every dollar spent by the state on Medicaid expenses. At the bare minimum, the state will receive $1.00 from the federal government for every dollar the state spends.
Second, if a state chose to expand Medicaid eligibility under Obamacare, the federal government will reimburse the state 100% of the additional costs incurred by the state for those newly eligible citizens until 2016. The reimbursement amount to the state decreases over the years until it hits 90% in 2020 according to the law.
Third, if a hospital serves a large number of Medicaid and uninsured patients, they will receive DSH payments or Disproportionate Share Hospital payments, from the federal government. This money makes up for the amount of money that the hospitals are not receiving for the services they provide to Medicaid and uninsured people in their state.
Fourth, a state may apply funds from other buckets of general funds to the Medicaid program.
Unfortunately, Donald Trump’s healthcare reform plan on DonaldJTrump.com does not specifically explain whether he would rid the Medicaid program of all of the federal aid outlined above, but he does state that he wants the control and management of the Medicaid program to stay in the hands of the states that know their people the best. He states that if the authority to manage Medicaid is with the states alone, they will have the incentive to eliminate fraud and financial waste. Presumably, this is due to the fact that the states would be funding Medicaid entirely on their own so they would be more protective and watchful of where the money is going.
Step 7: Remove barriers for drug providers
Trumpcare’s final proposed step to bring healthcare reform that will lower healthcare costs for Americans is to remove restrictions on drugs providers that would allow them to offer their brand and generic prescription drugs to the free market for a lower cost.
Mr. Trump admits that this step will require Congress to end their alliance and allegiance to special interest pharmaceutical groups. Donald Trump believes that allowing Americans to shop for and purchase and import pharmaceutical drugs that are safe and reliable from overseas companies will bring down the costs of prescription drugs across the board because it will increase competition.
Although not a specially outlined step of Trumpcare, Donald Trump closes out his proposal for healthcare reform by remarking that there are other ancillary initiatives that he is planning during his presidency that will have an effect on healthcare.
For instance, Trump believes that policies that enforce immigration laws and stop fraud and financial waste of the healthcare sector will improve the economy. Regarding immigration, Donald Trump states that providing healthcare to people who are in this country illegally costs the country $11 billion a year and immigration policies and more restrictions on visas will save a lot of that money.
Additionally, Donald J. Trump believes that there needs to be reform to our mental health programs and facilities. He states that there are currently initiatives in Congress that will help families who need information and access to assistance for their family members ailing from mental disease and that those bills should receive bi-partisan support.
We will continue to update this briefing of Trumpcare as more details are revealed and discussed.