By C. Steven Tucker
I have been studying health care policy for 20 years now. I am also a multi-state licensed health insurance broker who continues to operate in an increasingly less competitive and more bureaucratically controlled system on both the federal and state level. During the last 20 years I have seen a lot of changes in the U.S. health care system. Some of them good (HIPAA) and some bad (Reagan’s EMTALA) the PPACA a.k.a. “Obamacare” etc.
During the last two decades I have read everything I could get my hands on pertaining to health care policy. I also spent the longest two weeks of my entire life reading the PPACA – Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act – shortly after it was passed into law on March 23, 2010. I have also appeared on television,radio and written expert commentary on health care policy on this blog and for professional business journals around the country. If there is one thing I know it is health care policy and if there is another thing I know it is a lie when I hear it.
I have bit my tongue long enough. As a delegate for Senator Ted Cruz I have been placed into a difficult and increasingly uncomfortable position and now I havehad enough! Continuing to support Senator Cruz after he repeats incorrectly and ad nauseum that “A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for Obamacare“ and, that “if you vote Donald Trump, you vote for Bernie Sanders-style socialized medicine.“ Or even worse that Trump, Clinton and Sanders “have the identical position on health care” has forced me into a crisis of conscience. These are statements that even the left leaning Politifact has correctly identified as FALSE.
There are two things I detest above all others. Lies and intellectual laziness. There are far too many of my fellow “Cruzers” who either refuse to do the necessary research on Mr. Trump’s health care proposals or are simply too lazy to simply read his actual policy proposals as outlined in both his books “Time To Get Tough” from 2011 and his latest book “Crippled America” from 2015. Therefore, I have linked the pertinent sections pertaining to Mr. Trump’s actualhealth care policy proposals below.
As you read through chapter 8 of “Time To Get Tough” and you read through chapter 7 of “Crippled America” you will not find Mr. Trump calling for “Single Payer” health care coverage anywhere. In fact, in chapter 7 of “Crippled America” you will find that Mr. Trump specifically disavows his tepid and earlier support for a Single Payer system as one of the options he was considering as a person in the private sector more than 15 years ago.
He also calls for repeal and replace of Obamacare not “expansion of Obamacare” as Senator Cruz falsely states that he does.
Furthermore, in both books he calls for the following private sector reforms. Some of which are also called for under both Senator Cruz’s health care reform policy proposal and Dr. Ben Carson’s proposal. In addition to federal and state reforms. They are:
1.) Repeal of the McCarran Ferguson Act so health insurance can be sold across state lines.
2.) Expansion of Health Savings Accounts to promote price transparency & accountability.
3.) Tort (or Medical Malpractice Reform)
4.) Reform of our health care social safety nets such as Medicaid.
5.) Mr. Trump has most recently added necessary reforms to be made to our broken Veteran’s Administration health care system specifically because it, like all other Single Payer systems is an unmitigated disaster!
“But Steve, Trump said he wants “Universal Healthcare! I heard him say it on CBS!!” Yes, he did. So what does Mr. Trump mean by “universal” healthcare? For that we simply have to look up the definition of the word ‘universal”. According to Miriam Webster’s dictionary the term “universal” means “existing or available for everyone”. That does not mean ‘Single Payer’ nor does it mean ‘government controlled’! It means a health care system where everyone has access to some form of health care delivery. That is what I want. That is what Senator Cruz wants and that’s what nearly every politician on both sides of the isle wants. Affordable access to health care services for everyone. How do we do that? When it comes to Medicaid, you can look to former Governor Mitch Daniel’s reforms that worked in Indiana or more recently to Governor Scott Walker’s reforms that were made in Wisconsin. There are other ideas also.
Most importantly when it comes to the vast majority of Americans this is what Mr. Trump actually says at the end of chapter 7 of “Crippled America” and I quote:
“The government doesn’t belong in health care except at the very last resort. The main way the government should be involved is to make sure the insurance companies (not a top down, authoritative single payer health care system) are financially strong so that if there is a catastrophic event or they make some kind of miscalculation, they have the resources they need to handle it.”
Mr. Trump also says in the beginning of chapter 7 of “Time To Get Tough” and I quote:
“..we still need a plan to bring down health care costs and to make health care insurance (not a top down, authoritative Single Payer health care system) more affordable for everyone. It starts with increasing competitionbetween insurance companies. Competition makes everything better and more affordable.”
But Steve! Trump said “the government is going to pay for it.” I saw it on CBS!”
Yes, he did. Firstly, the government pays for nothing. It confiscates wealth from taxpayers and redistributes it. Secondly, we taxpayers already pay to provide health care services to millions of our nation’s indigent and those who are developmentally disabled. We also subsidize programs such as Medicare Part D and other health care programs. We will continue to do so because Americans are compassionate people who seek to help those who are truly in need. I say truly in need because under the PPACA (Obamacare) we expanded Medicaid to single adults without children who happen to fall below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. In doing so we robbed those finite resources from single mothers and the developmentally disabled. That is not helping those who are truly in need and this among other reasons is why Trump wants Obamacare repealed and replaced with a “universal” health care system that encourages more competition among private health insurers with an emphasis on reforming how taxpayers pay for our health care safety net.