For months, Trump told supporters and the media that he will abolish Obamacare while providing healthcare for those who cannot afford insurance. Despite questions about his alternative, Trump remained tight-lipped about his plans until now. Even last week during the Republican debate on CNN, Marco Rubio accused Trump for not having an alternative to Obamacare. (see video below)
In Trump's healthcare plan, which he said is just a start to reforming healthcare, he said he aims to eliminate the individual mandate and lower costs. "No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to," Trump wrote. His plan would look familiar to most Republicans who have tried to reform healthcare over the past several decades, including allowing tax-free health savings accounts for individuals that can be passed onto their heirs, allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines, and allowing individuals to deduct health premiums from their taxes.
Trump's plan differs from previous reforms in two ways. First, he wants to allow cheap prescription drugs into the country and called on Congress to "step away from the special interests and do what is right for America," he wrote. To accomplish this goal, the patent laws would need changed that afford innovators to have a monopoly on their discovery for a certain number of years. Trump said that although the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service.
Trump believes enforcement of current immigration laws would save $11 billion annually by relieving pressure on governments to care for illegal immigrants. "If we were to simply enforce the current immigration laws and restrict the unbridled granting of visas to this country," Trump wrote, "we could relieve healthcare cost pressures on state and local governments."
Making price transparency is also one of Trump's goals to reform the healthcare market. Currently, prices for exams are opaque for consumers while prices vary wildly from doctor to doctor, even in the same hospital. For example, last September, clearhealthcosts.com discovered a mammogram in Queens, New York costs $50. But it costs $607 for the same procedure at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure," Trump wrote.
Trump did not address how the government will pay for those who cannot afford insurance except to say that taking care of the economy will reduce dependence on public health programs. "The best social program has always been a job," Trump wrote.
Luis Miranda, the Democratic National Committee Communications Director, said Trump's healthcare plan is "cribbed from worn-out and false GOP talking points [and] proves that Trump is just another Republican politician who wants to take healthcare away from millions of Americans without offering any substantive alternative."
Marco Rubio demands Donald Trump discuss his healthcare plan.