Advocacy / Government Watch / Health & Wellness / Healthcare

Trump Resists a Government Takeover of Health Care

trumpWhen it comes to health care, there is a deep divide between the policies of President Donald Trump and Joe Biden. But the distinction isn’t so much Trump vs. Biden as it is the American people vs. special interest groups.

When the first debate is held, the theme of the night will be domestic policy, and health care is sure to be hotly debated — as it should be; it’s a top issue for American families. Biden will be touting the Affordable Care Act, adding a “public option” to appease the large contingency of his party that still demands “Medicare for all.”

For his part, Trump has consistently resisted a government takeover of medicine and is looking to create an environment where patients can be in charge of their health care decisions.

Yet polls show that both parties are unhappy with their candidates’ positions and with Congress for failing to address the issue, regardless of who is in the majority.

Biden and members of his party are resurrecting the campaign ads about pre-existing conditions as the proverbial bogeyman to compel voters through fear. Though many solutions exist to address this problem, the left is continuing to tout the failed government takeover of health care known as the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. The hard truth is that the ACA, or “Obamacare” as some call it, doesn’t protect people who have underlying conditions.

The promise to protect people with underlying conditions may have worked on paper, but, according to a study, the reality is the ACA did not decrease bankruptcies related to medical bills, nor did it result in better health outcomes, which are measured in mortality rates among the nonelderly. Obamacare may have provided an insurance card in more Americans’ wallets, but what matters to families is that it decreased access to affordable care.

A clear example of how the law contributed to the increase in health care cost is the movement by insurance companies, middlemen and hospitals toward consolidation. Consolidation in the hospital industry alone created an increase in incentives to move patient care from inpatient to outpatient care. This resulted in hospitals going on a buying spree of outpatient facilities and physician practices to secure referrals for services based in the hospital.

Hospitals commonly argue that consolidation would reduce costs but fail to explain that the savings in costs go to the hospital, while patients often see an increase in their out-of-pocket expenses due to the consolidation.

Rather than building on the support for special interests, Trump has issued a large number of executive orders that have focused on patient care, health care price transparency, and affordability of services and medications.

The common theme has been to put the patient — not government and certainly not insurance bureaucrats — in charge of decision-making. Trump’s first health care plan, the Choice and Competition report, allowed for options that have been readily accepted by many who are priced out by the exchange plans.

In addition to creating a more competitive market, another executive order focused on health care price transparency has rattled the industry by mandating that all negotiated prices between hospitals and insurers be disclosed. This transformative principle has an approval rate of nearly 90 percent of Americans on both sides of the political aisle, according to a July poll. As loved as this order has been by the American people, it has been equally despised by the special interests that benefit from the hidden nature of prices in health care.

Perhaps another distinction between these plans is in where they are focused. Biden, in his commitment to broadening the ACA, is focused on benefiting the insurance industry and its lobbyists. The direction of the president’s policies is more in line with helping the patient by focusing on making things affordable. Obamacare didn’t do anything to bring down the cost of care; in fact, it did the complete opposite.

As you watch the debate, make sure you pay attention whenever you hear the words “health care.” And ask yourself this question: Are they talking about health care or health insurance? How you answer may tell you exactly who the candidate is trying to help.

David Balat is the director of the Right on Healthcare campaign at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Reprinted with Permission from - Express News by - David Balat

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Mary K
9 months ago

Obama Care does not work. We need something where we know the prices of all procedures. Prices of ER visits should also be capped so people in the middle class will be willing to go to the ER in case of an emergency. Those without insurance should get the same discounts as those with insurance. There should be a federal commission that sets all these prices. No citizen should have to declare bankruptcy because of medical bills. Medical care needs to be regulated like utilities.

9 months ago
Reply to  Mary K

“Prices of ER visits should also be capped so people in the middle class will be willing to go to the ER in case of an emergency.” So if you go in with a sliver in your finger or a partially severed limb,the cost should be the same?
“Those without insurance should get the same discounts as those with insurance.” Those “discounts” or, deductions that the insurance provider, be it a PPO or HMO or, Medicare applies to the bill are going to be made up somewhere,somehow.
“There should be a federal commission that sets all these prices.” Really, a GOVERNMENT panel?
“No citizen should have to declare bankruptcy because of medical bills.” The one thing you say that makes sense.
“Medical care needs to be regulated like utilities.” You have no problem with some bureaucrats in Washington deciding on what care you can/cannot receive?

Last edited 9 months ago by Kerry
10 months ago

A confusing subject, health care…er, insurance. And it doesn’t help to ask, “But, what will the government replace it with?” The fact is, I don’t want the government to replace Obamacare. I’d rather see the private sector come up with a free-market-based health care delivery and medical insurance system.

Bring on transparency, competition, privacy protection, and return decisions to the patient and his or her doctor. Sure, the government will have to provide a safety net for extraordinary expenses and care for the poor until the private sector builds in its own safety nets. It would be far less expensive in the long run than making all health care filter through myriad levels of government bureaucracy. I’d love to see a comprehensive breakdown of the true costs of the ACA, and the burden it has caused our economy.

This can be done, as long as the focus is on the patient and conservatives hold majorities in Congress and the White House.

Trump/Pence 2020.

10 months ago
Reply to  Kim

Everything in the private sector that the federal government decides to subsidize, in the name of “helping the needy” which they really don’t care about, or micro-manage through massive regulations results in runaway costs. Whether it be healthcare, via Obamacare, or student loans, also under Obama. There have 3 or 4 studies already done on the impact of Obamacare since it was implemented and 2 studies on the real cost increases to the taxpayer and the students since Obama took over complete control of virtually all student loans during his two terms in office. All the studies for the costs associated with Obamacare show that real costs have more than tripled, while the quality of care has actually declined due to mandated regressive rules put in place through the CMS under Obama and still mostly still in place today. For the average person out there, these studies would be exercise in endurance as each summary of these studies runs over 100 pages each and filled with your typical government speak language. Not pleasant reading unless you’re really into crunching numbers.

The student loan debacle is even worse. Tuition costs really took off after the federal government took over the whole student loan process in 2009. With no incentive to control costs at the colleges or enforce any sort of real qualifiers on those applying for student loans, the end result has been colleges hiking college tuitions at will and a seemingly needless supply of students still enrolling, many completely unqualified for college level courses or selecting courses with no real-world value in the primate sector, who can qualify for government issued student loans in just about any field of study.

Unlimited demand coupled with no market-based governing mechanism on the cost or price of the product in the private sector results in a runaway, unsustainable bubble which eventually collapses. Thus crushing or severely damaging the marketplace for the product and those who bid up the product. However, with the federal government in effect subsidizing an unsustainable market, as with the federal student loan program, it is not the students or even the colleges that face the financial exposure when the bubble eventually pops. It is the American taxpayer who is on the hook.

10 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

How true!
There’s a line I’ve used before, describing what happens when the government takes over any sector, not quite like the Midas touch: “Everything the government touches turns into…more government.”

Time for dinner, and then to settle into my TV chair for the evening’s entertainment. Enjoy!

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