Donald J. Trump believes in a public/private partnership regarding healthcare: Private for the people who can afford it and public for those that cannot. But aside from that, pinning down a specific proposal on Trump’s healthcare policy is difficult.
In his 2015 book, “Crippled America,” Trump acknowledges his previous support for a single-payer system, but vaguely says “…the world has changed; I’ve changed. I don’t think a single-payer system makes sense anymore. If I did, I would say it.” He continues to say, however, that the single payer system “works incredibly well” in Scotland, doubling down on a statement he made in January of last year on Letterman (see below).
In 2011, Trump acknowledged in his book, “A Time to get Tough,” the need for a “national market” for health insurance, which would give Americans lower-cost options. Trump also addressed tort reform, saying that doctors practice defensive medicine to keep from getting sued. He advocated for a cap on damages ($100,000.) and “loser pay” laws.
As time has gone on, one could say that Trump has “evolved” on this issue and if he truly has, this author would be the first to praise him for waking up to the fact that healthcare effectiveness and affordability decreases as government involvement increases.
Trump’s position in 2000 as reported at The Advocate was very different than the free market proposals he has endorsed since Obamacare has passed, however. Back then, he declared that he “…would put forward a comprehensive health care program and fund it with an increase in corporate taxes.”
Also from 2000, Trump declared in his book “The America we Deserve” that “[T]he Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than America…We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan, as many individual states are doing.”
Recently, many cite a “60 Minutes” interview with Scott Pelley from September of 2015, where Trump, after being prodded, explains that the government will pay for those who cannot afford health care. “I am going to take care of everybody,” Trump said. “I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”
Here is the relevant portion:
During that same 60 Minutes interview, it should be noted, Donald Trump endorses raising taxes on “some very wealthy.” As an aside, Trump’s position on taxing the wealthy more is very troubling. The “Occupy Wall Street” mentality of class warfare is incredibly bad for America and based off of the false premise that there is a finite amount of money being hoarded by the wealthy at the expense of the poor. It is a lie. Wealth is created.
In January 2015, Trump praised Scotland’s single-payer healthcare system (as he did in his book “Crippled America”) and bashed doctors as over charging for their services on the David Letterman Show:
“A friend of mine was in Scotland recently. He got very, very sick. They took him by ambulance and he was there for four days. He was really in trouble and they released him and he said, ‘Where do I pay?’ And they said, ‘There’s no charge.’ Not only that, he said it was like great doctors, great care. I mean we could have a great system in this country.”
“Just look at your doctor’s bills. I mean you look at the doctor’s bills…you look at what some of these doctors do and the money that they make and you go to other countries and you see what they make and it’s a whole different world. And there are things that you can do to give unbelievable healthcare at a lesser cost – not only to the government, but to the people and a much better healthcare system and there are alot of things and it’s a very complex subject unfortunately but there are many many things that could make it much better.”
Watch his comments here:
Although Trump praises the healthcare system in Scotland, he shouldn’t.
Consider what Ronald Reagan said about healthcare:
The closest policy discussion on healthcare one may find on Donald J. Trump’s website are his contradictory proposals for the Veterans Administration (VA).
It is contradictory because he wants to change the system so that “all veterans eligible for VA health care can bring their veteran’s ID card to any doctor or care facility that accepts Medicare to get the care they need immediately” (his emphasis), yet he also wants to expand the reach of the VA by “embed[ding] satellite VA clinics within hospitals and other care facilities in rural and other underserved areas.”
Trump also talks quite a bit about “investing,” “expanding” and “increasing funding” for the VA.
“The Trump plan will make it happen [modernize the VA] by accelerating and expanding investments in state of the art technology to deliver best-in-class care quickly and effectively.”
“Increase funding for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury and suicide prevention services…will help the veteran community put the unnecessary stigma surrounding mental health behind them and instead encourage acceptance and treatment in our greater society.”
“Increase funding for job training and placement services (including incentives for companies hiring veterans), educational support and business loans.”
Trump says he will “expand VA services for female veterans and ensure the VA is providing the right support for this new generation of veterans.”
After examining Trump’s evolving positions on healthcare, one gets the sense that he is intrigued by single payer, but recognizes that Americans are just not quite there yet after dealing with disastrous Obamacare.
While Trump does clearly state that he wants to get rid of Obamacare, his replacement system is much more difficult to pin down, aside from the fact that he wants to cover everyone and he does not want people dying “on the sidewalks of Iowa,” as Trump told George Stephanopoulos last month. Trump did not, however, distinguish his plan from Obamacare. But he did manage to refer to Ted Cruz as a liar.