Donald Trump & healthcare: 15 things to know

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump released his "Healthcare Reform to Make America Great Again" plan March 2, calling for less government oversight of healthcare and letting the free market sort out costs.

Here are 15 things to know about Mr. Trump's healthcare reform plan:

1. Mr. Trump intends to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Trump wants to completely eradicate the healthcare reform law, particularly its individual mandate that requires all individuals above a specific economic threshold to purchase health insurance. Though he has previously supported the ACA provision requiring payers to cover people with pre-existing conditions, he did not mention this in his March proposal. "Our healthcare is a horror show," Mr. Trump said at the sixth Republican debate in January. "Obamacare, we're going to repeal it and replace it."

2. His plan will leave 24 million Americans uninsured. Upon repeal of the ACA, 24 million people will lose healthcare coverage by 2021, more than doubling the number of uninsured Americans, according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation analysis. His proposed replacement initiatives only cover 5 percent of all the individuals who would lose coverage.

3. CRFB predicts high costs to repeal and replace the ACA. An estimated $550 billion over the course of 10 years would be required for Mr. Trump to repeal and replace the ACA. When taking into account effects on the economy, the price tag changes to $330 billion, according to a bipartisan Committee for Responsible Federal Budget analysis.

4. He wants to convert Medicaid to a block grant program. A block grant program would involve the federal government allotting each state a fixed amount of yearly funding, according to CRFB's fiscal report analysis. The analysis states the grants could save or cost the government money, depending on their size, which Mr. Trump has not disclosed.

5. He wants to allow insurers to sell plans across state lines. He proposes that by "allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up."

6. Mr. Trump wants to make insurance premiums tax deductible.  Mr. Trump argues since businesses are able to deduct payments for insurance premiums from their taxes, individuals should also be able to take those exemptions. "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," Mr. Trump's plan reads.

7. He thinks healthcare is a universal right. According to a Politico article, Mr. Trump has frequently said all Americans should receive access to healthcare, and the government should make sure no one is "dying on the streets." His belief in universal healthcare conflicts with his wish to eliminate the ACA mandate requiring all individuals above a certain economic threshold to purchase health insurance.

8. He intends to establish health saving accounts. Mr. Trump wants to grant Americans the option to contribute to tax-free health saving accounts, making them a part of an individual's estate. This means individuals would not be penalized for transferring assets to heirs or to other family members.

9. He will require price transparency from insurers. "Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure," his plan reads. Mr. Trump especially wants physicians, clinics and hospitals to provide transparent information. No other details are provided in his health reform plan as to how he hopes to accomplish this.

10. Mr. Trump wants to remove barriers for international pharmaceutical companies wishing to enter the U.S. market. If international pharmaceutical companies offer reliable, safe and cheaper products, Mr. Trump thinks Americans should have the option to purchase them. "Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service," his plan reads. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has proposed similar ideas.

11. He wants stricter laws on providing care to undocumented immigrants. Mr. Trump says enforcing immigration laws and cutting fraud will lift economic pressures off Americans. Stricter immigration laws would assist job creation and reduce the amount of people on Medicaid, his plan states.

12. Mr. Trump sees a need to reform mental health programs. In his plan, he states America needs to reform its mental health programs and institutions. "Families, without the ability to get the information needed to help those who are ailing, are too often not given the tools to help their loved ones," his plan reads. His plan also states Congress is developing "promising" reforms that should receive bipartisan support.

13. He said other reform could be considered. If other plans present lower costs, more certainty and financial security for Americans, Mr. Trump said in his health reform plan he will consider them.

14. Critics of Mr. Trump's plan say it is simply another Republican healthcare proposal. "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.

15. The GOP is not sold on Mr. Trump's plan. Republicans are hung up on Mr. Trump's inconsistencies in terms of healthcare policy, making them doubt the assumed Republican nominee, according to The Hill. For example, Mr. Trump promised to insure all Americans, but his plan does not state any overarching expansions. He has also said he wants to protect patients with pre-existing conditions, but does not mention it in his plan. 



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