Healthcare and the 2016 Presidential Election
As the 2016 U.S. presidential election heats up, political party candidates are reaching out to Americans and sharing their visions regarding budget and economy, foreign policy, the environment, education, tax reform, immigration, jobs, crime and healthcare. Among the most critical areas of concern remain our healthcare system, and specifically the debate over whether the United States should have a universal healthcare system.
The $1.8 trillion healthcare industry is being forced to find new ways to maximize resources, increase efficiency and enhance access in order to achieve more effective patient care; and it is doing this in the face of escalating costs, an aging population, rising chronic health conditions, and a shortage of healthcare professionals.
For the presidential candidates, presenting a comprehensive and effective healthcare plan will play an important factor in the upcoming presidential election.
Donald Trump and Healthcare Reform
At the heart of Republican nominee Donald Trump’s healthcare strategy is the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. According to Trump, the American people have had to suffer under the incredible economic burden of this act, and no positive reforms can be accomplished without first repealing Obamacare.
Once this is accomplished, Trump plans to work with Congress to make sure a series of reforms are ready for implementation. The goal of these reforms will be to follow free-market principles and restore economic freedom and certainty to everyone in the United States. Trump believes following these free-market principles and working together to create sound public policy will broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve quality of care.
Donald Trump’s Healthcare Plan: What You Need to Know
Trump has come up with an action plan that puts the onus on elected representatives in the House of Representatives and Senate. These action items include:
- • Repeal Affordable Care Act. Elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.
- • 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 should be able to offer insurance in any state. Trump believes that by allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.
- • Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system. Ensure no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance. Review basic options for Medicaid and work with states to ensure that those who want healthcare coverage can have it.
- • Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and allowed to accumulate. Accounts would become part of the estate of the individual and could be passed on to heirs without fear of any death penalty.
- • Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals. Give individuals the freedom to shop and find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.
- • Block/Grant Medicaid to the states. Trump believes state governments know their residents and can manage the administration of Medicaid far better without federal overhead. States will have incentives to seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse to preserve precious resources.
- • Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Allow consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas. In order to do this, Congress must step away from special interests and do what is right for America because although the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service.
Other Healthcare Reforms
Trump believes in taking action in other policy areas to lower healthcare costs and burdens. These areas include enforcing immigration laws, eliminating fraud and waste, and energizing the economy. According to Trump, providing healthcare to illegal immigrants costs the United States $11 billion annually; therefore enforcing current immigration laws and restricting the unbridled granting of visas will relieve healthcare cost pressures on state and local governments.
To reduce the number of individuals needing access to programs like Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program, Trump wants to install programs that grow the economy and bring capital and jobs back to America. He has no specific talking points for mental health reform, except that families should be given more information.
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