Donald Trump released his health care plan Wednesday evening, finally detailing the way in which he would fulfill his campaign trail promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
In a seven-point plan posted to his website and publicized by a tweet, Trump says he will do away with the individual health insurance mandate, as well as allow competition over states lines for health care plans, and block grant Medicaid to the states, allowing them to follow through on his prescription to “eliminate fraud, waste and abuse to preserve our precious resources."
The decision to go against the idea of an individual mandate is new for Trump, who told CNN during a February town hall before the South Carolina primary that he “likes the mandate” and that makes him “a little bit different” than other conservatives.
But Wednesday’s plan outlines as the first point on the list: "Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to."
He counters that, however, by saying individuals should be allowed to “fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns.”
The third bullet point goes on to say that “we must make sure no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance” and that “we must review basic options for Medicaid and work with states to ensure that those who want healthcare coverage can have it."
Further, Trump ties illegal immigration to his healthcare plan, writing “providing healthcare to illegal immigrants costs us some $11 billion annually ... If we were to simply enforce the current immigration laws and restrict the unbridled granting of visas to this country, we could relieve healthcare cost pressures on state and local governments.”
Trump, who after almost every mass shooting has responded to questions on gun control with an answer about mental health, also noted the need for mental health institution reform. His plan states that “[f]amilies, without the ability to get the information needed to help those who are ailing, are too often not given the tool to help their loved ones.” Beyond this statement, however, Trump gives no solution. Instead, writing that “there are promising reforms being developed in Congress that should receive bi-partisan support.”
Another recent talking point that has made its way into the healthcare plan is pharmaceutical drugs, special interest control of prices, and the need to be able to negotiate. Though this talking point seemed to stem from former Bush finance chairman Woody Johnson’s attendance to a GOP debate, Trump has since included the need to negotiate prices and unleash Washington from its special interest hold.
The final point in his plan states the need to “[R]emove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products.”
Trump says that "Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America” and that despite pharmaceuticals being private companies, they “provide a public service.” Trump instead is advocating for international competition and the importing of drugs from overseas to "bring more options to consumers.”