Trump Breaks from Republican Establishment to Promise “Insurance for Everybody”; GOP Fires Back to Add Clarify that he Meant “Access to Insurance”.
Trump recently promised “insurance for everybody”. By Trump’s own admission, this won’t be single payer, but it could mean expanded coverage. With that said, Republicans in Congress may have a slightly different agenda.
Update 2019: The repeal and replace plan never passed, thus this information is only historically relevant.
Trump Promises Versus Republican Plans
Trump hasn’t just promised “insurance for everybody”, he has also promised simultaneous repeal and replace, negotiating with drug companies, a continuation of kids staying on their parent’s plan until 26, a continued ban on preexisting conditions, and lower costs.
Republicans have historically something fairly different from what Trump says, and this is evidenced by past plans like Paul Ryan’s House “Better Way” health plan.
In fact, some Republicans have already sought to clarify Trump by saying, “we are sure he meant access to insurance for everybody”. That said, Tom Price (Trump’s HHS pick) and others sought to clarify it a different way saying, “[that his role in Congress] “was always to make sure that people had access to the kinds of health care they wanted and the feasibility to pay for it… nobody is interesting in pulling the rug out from anyone”. See: Tom Price Says he shares Trump’s Goal of Insurance for everybody for that story.
Trump; He was a Maverick in the Primaries, Perhaps he Will be as President
With the above said, while Price’s health plan and the GOP plans don’t exactly back up Price’s or Trump’s words, it doesn’t mean that we won’t get “coverage for everybody”.
Trump is a Maverick, and his TrumpCare (while sparse in detail) has never been exactly the Republican party line. No where is this more evidenced than in his recent comments where President-elect Trump said:
“We’re going to have insurance for everybody… There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us. [People covered under the law] can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better.”
In the past Trump had said “we aren’t going to let them die in the streets” and other such statements that had hinted that Trump planned to expand healthcare beyond what other Republicans did, but those statements were said when he was up against Hillary, Bernie, and the GOP in the primary and thus we have to take them for what they were.
However, to have him double down on this language now means much more.
Pair this with Trump’s other recent promise to simultaneously repeal and replace and his restated desire to negotiate with Drug plans and we all have reason to be hopeful.
Pair this with Pence’s Healthy Indiana Plan for the Medicaid gap, with Price’s expanded HSAs, and elements of Ryan’s better way… and lay that on top of the uncontested parts of the ACA that are working… and we have a pretty darn workable plan.
No, it isn’t single payer, but nor did the country vote with Bernie, so why would we expect it?
So, what does Trump want? A darn workable plan that expands coverage to all, or to toe the GOP party line? Will he trade away healthcare for a wall behind the scenes? Or does he realize that actually fixing the law will make him more popular? If the primaries are any indicator, we might just actually get “a great healthcare plan” from Trump.
Still for now, it is no time to celebrate or drop one’s gaurd. Currently, Republicans are repealing ObamaCare and have put no replacement on the table, and Trump isn’t in office. The plans that “may” replace ObamaCare have been around for a long time, and the GOP has refused to do more than obstruct for the past 8. So, we should all be weary of rose colored glasses, so far we have a lot of talk, but no action.
That means, for now, people need to act on the information in front of them. That information says, “20 million lives and 8 years of Affordable Care and Patient Protections are on the line” and that Republicans in Congress want to “repeal” more than they want to replace the ACA with another Government-based solution.
“Repeal and delay” isn’t going to cut it, the people have the right to a “better and great” healthcare plan. We should not have to tolerate a dip in coverage due to repeal while politicians hash out a better plan… but we all need to be honest with ourselves. Love him or not, if Trump starts fighting for expanded and workable healthcare, we can’t fall into the trap of fighting against it over party lines.
TIP: While we can see a path forward for a GOP + Trump plan that meets the rhetoric above, one must note Trump is a Maverick and not a literal magician, and this could be a problem. If you recall, the line from the GOP for the past 8 has been “repeal” and “let the market sort it out”. This is very far from Trump’s words or TrumpCare as presented on his site. With Pence and Price, we can speculate hopefully, but this is one of those situations where we are well advised not to count our chickens prematurely. There is a lot of logistics still standing in the way.