Trump releases 7-point health care planNews added by Benefits Pro on March 4, 2016

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By Jack Craver

After being ridiculed by opponent Marco Rubio at the last debate for lacking a coherent plan to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Donald Trump has unveiled a seven-point plan that he claims will lower health care costs.

Like most of Trump’s policy proposals, the plan released online does not offer much in terms of specifics.

It starts with a line that echoes what other Republicans have said about their plans: “Completely repeal Obamacare."

Trump also now says that he does not support the individual mandate that underpins the PPACA, and that insurers have said is utterly essential in order to pay for the coverage of the most expensive patients. In the past, however, Trump has suggested he supported the concept of a mandate, a suggestion for which he has been pilloried by conservatives as evidence that he is not committed to the principles of their movement.

At the last debate, he insisted that he would guarantee coverage of anybody with preexisting conditions without a mandate, although he did not elaborate on how, instead claiming that people he knew in the insurance industry were “making a killing.”

Like many other pols, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Trump also advocates for allowing the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from abroad, although presumably not with the countries that he has threatened trade wars with.

Most of the other aspects of Trump’s health plan are familiar staples of conservative rhetoric. He proposes eliminating barriers to selling health insurance across state lines and says Medicaid should be delivered in block grants to the states, an idea that has received backing from Speaker Paul Ryan and other influential conservatives.

“The state governments know their people best and can manage the administration of Medicaid far better without federal overhead,” Trump’s plan says.

Parts of Trump’s proposal already exist, such as health savings accounts. He also urges for price transparency in medicine, a concept that has been championed by the Obama administration, although it’s a matter of opinion to what effect.

“They are simply a place to start,” Trump says of his proposals. “There are other reforms that might be considered if they serve to lower costs, remove uncertainty and provide financial security for all Americans.”

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