The media jumped to their megaphones to blast the news – Trump is flip-flopping on Obamacare. TV, radio and print media are all saying the same thing because their news is gathered in an echo chamber of people who hope to see Trump fail.
Liberal and leftist tongues were wagging all over the Internet on Friday, because Donald Trump promised to repeal Obamacare, while guaranteeing health insurance coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. They claim Trump’s goal is impossible.
Some outlets, like the Wall Street Journal, were laying claim to having a scoop on it – that Trump was backing away from his pledge to repeal the health law. “Donald Trump, in Exclusive Interview, Tells WSJ He Is Willing to Keep Parts of Obama Health Law,” wrote Monica Langley and Gerard Baker. “President-elect hints at possible compromise after vows to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”
It was no scoop. Trump was saying what he and other Republicans have been saying and writing since Obamacare was passed.
TV and radio journalists breathlessly repeated the claim that Trump is considering keeping big portions of Obamacare rather than repealing the law in full.
What Trump said, is what many Republicans have been saying. He would like to keep two minor provisions: one requiring insurers to offer coverage to everyone, regardless of prior health status (i.e., pre-existing conditions), and another requiring plans to allow adult children up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ health plans. “I like those very much,” said Trump.
Trump has consistently said that. All he is saying is we can cover those things without Obamacare and we can. Employer insurance programs covered pre-existing conditions before Obamacare.
Every single Republican proposal to repeal and replace the law has retained those two provisions. Some covered everyone with free market solutions.
Some alternative approaches award the same credit to those in poverty as they do to those with six-figure incomes. Such an approach would cover significantly fewer people than Obamacare, putting the lie to a goal of universal coverage.
The important thing was always how much healthcare cost.
Trump’s core policy principles are: (1) repealing and replacing Obamacare; (2) near-universal coverage; (3) lower health insurance premiums. They can be reached with the free market and Trump has said he will use free market principles.
The market-based proposal on pre-existing conditions would protect any health insurance consumer with a pre-existing condition by guaranteeing acceptance into an insurance plan so long as the individual remains continuously covered.
The proposal would make buying insurance affordable for all by allowing a tax credit for those
who cannot afford it, which is a payment to the individual regardless of whether that person has paid taxes or not.
Self-employed people would also receive a tax credit.
In addition to the tax credit, small businesses could band together to increase buying power, putting them on par with large corporations.
Medicaid would be reformed in that states would be granted more latitude to do what is necessary to cover their populations. Medicaid faces a crisis because half of all healthcare providers no longer accept it. Reducing restrictions on states would likely give them the flexibility they need to save the Medicaid system.
GOP proposals also retain the option for young people to remain on their parents’ healthcare plans until age twenty-six. The plans could be individual plans or through an employer.
Democrats and liberal journalists criticize the GOP proposals that Trump will likely adopt as “necessarily less generous and less comprehensive than the ACA.” They accuse Republicans of lying about their proposals. These opponents to the GOP proposals assert that requiring the consumer to maintain continuous coverage undermines the guarantee of coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.
Requiring any element of responsibility on the part of the consumer, even when the GOP proposes giving people money to pay for it through a tax credit, is too great a burden for American citizens to carry in the minds of Democrats,yet they will make people buy insurance and levy punitive, unaffordable fines if they don’t.