Uninsured Americans who are frustrated by the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, might be in luck. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has announced his healthcare plan, which he would enact after repealing Obamacare when he becomes our dear leader, because who doesn't want health advice from a former talk-show host and mail-order steak salesman? It sounds like a great plan.
Trump claims that he'll repeal Obamacare "[o]n day one of the Trump Administration." Personally, I feel like there would be more pressing issues on day one, such as getting his direct deposit set up, learning the password to his computer, and figuring out why those four horseman are trampling through the rose garden, but what do I know, I'm not a politician. Oh, wait, neither is Trump.
Trump's plan, in which he uses the phrase "free market" five times (because he's a very successful businessman who knows about business) states that "[n]o person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to," presumably because some American Muslims might consider health insurance to be a form of gambling, and we all know how sensitive Trump is to them.
But just how far will Trump go to protect Americans and their health? Is he going to ban diabetic immigrants from entering the U.S. and pawning off their weird, gross, sugar-free hard candies on us? Here's everything you need to know about what Trump has in store for our health.
You Can Cross State Lines
Trump plans to "[m]odify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines." This means that when Texas women take a fun, freewheeling road trip with their girlfriends to procure an abortion in Oklahoma because HB2 has shut down their local clinic, they can pick up some cheap health insurance on the way home.
Flexible Spending For DAYS
Quick question: what happens to the money in your healthcare savings account when you die? Most people have no idea that it actually goes directly into the pockets of ISIS (that's a joke), who Bill Gates absolutely refuses to ban from the internet. That's un-American! Trump would allow these funds to "become part of the estate of the individual" so they can leave their FSA to their heirs. "Sorry I'm dead, but here's a weird credit card you can only use at Target Pharmacy until December 31st. See ya!" – my will. It's actually an interesting idea.
Trump would also require price transparency from healthcare providers, "especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals." This is a relief, because here I thought he was just going to go after dental assistants and phlebotomists, who are known for being super-secretive about their pricing structure.
Trump knows that state governments "know their people best," so why should the federal government get involved in how states spend federal money? Better to let them handle it on their own, and learn the value of a dollar.
If there's one thing pharma bro Martin Shkreli taught us, it's that drugs are expensive. But what if Trump were to allow consumers to buy imported drugs? Granted, food and toys from China are constantly getting recalled because they're full of lead and melamine, but I'm sure they make quality pills over there.
There are both merits and problems with Trump's plan. But, hopefully, he'll have someone who's a bit more familiar with healthcare look it over before it's enacted.