Donald Trump thinks Americans get too much health care and don’t pay enough for it. And he seems not to know that his solution, health savings accounts, have been in existence since 2003.
Trump appeared on the Hannity show last night for a 16+ minute lapdog interview (the one below is 10:31 and the second part was 5:42). That's in advance of the one-hour special Hannity will have with Trump tomorrow as a warm-up to a Trump campaign rally to be held in the same venue.
Clearly, Hannity wanted to promote Trump’s viability as a conservative candidate to those who might “pick up their toys and go home if their guy doesn’t win,” as Hannity described some conservatives last night.
HANNITY: I want to ask you this question because it’s the question I’m most frequently asked about you and as I go on social media, it seems to be a very strong … the single most named criticism or question I get, "Tell me where Donald Trump is conservative. Explain how he’ll be conservative." And I want to give you that opportunity to explain to people because no one ever asks you that.
TRUMP: Sure I’d like to do that… but at the same time I don’t like labels necessarily because a label doesn’t mean very much.
Trump went on to say he’s “very very strong on energy independence” and “very, very conservative” on the military and “nobody is more conservative when it comes to trade than I am.”
Then he got to health care.
TRUMP: I’m certainly [conservative] when it comes to health care. We want to repeal and replace ObamaCare. We’re going to repeal it. ObamaCare is a total disaster for this country. A total and complete disaster. We’re going to come up with plans and there are lots of alternatives. We’re gonna come up with plans that are far less expensive. Better for the people and better for the country.
Hannity gave Trump a helping hand with that vagueness: “You also said when you gave your specifics that you support health care savings accounts. That’s on your website right now.”
TRUMP: A hundred percent. A hundred percent. It’s so simple, so good, it’s so much less expensive. It’s much better. You can have your plan, you really have an asset, you can go anywhere with it, beyond state lines, you can do whatever you want with it, you know, it’s just so much better.
And you know what? It gives people the incentive to negotiate because it’s theirs. You’re not dealing with government bureaucrats, it’s theirs. It’s their money, they want to spend as little as possible. Right now, they walk in and they say give me everything under the kitchen sink. I mean, the people have an incentive to spend wisely, So the health care savings accounts are such a good thing. It’s such a good idea and it’s time for it.
…It was always amazing to me that politicians didn’t – they hardly even considered it when they were talking about ObamaCare.
Memo to Trump: Maybe the reason politicians didn’t consider HSAs when ObamaCare was being drafted was because health savings accounts already existed. They were established in 2003, under President George W. Bush.
Furthermore, it’s ridiculous to think that patients are going to be negotiating the costs of health care when they’re the kind of seriously sick that runs up astronomical medical bills. The Economic Policy Institute explains:
Forcing Americans to pay a higher share of health costs will not induce them to shop around and compare prices when they are experiencing chest pains or their child is suffering from an asthma attack. Further, consumers of health care are in no position to second-guess their doctor when she tells them an MRI is better than an X-ray (and hence worth the higher price) to diagnose a condition. Lastly, unlike other markets, prices of health care services faced by consumers bear very little relation to providers’ cost to supply these services. Hence, these prices provide little to no information for consumers looking to judge the relative efficacy of various health care interventions.
In addition, increased health cost sharing is unlikely to make American health care more affordable to those currently unable to afford it, and will instead likely place the largest burdens on those who need care the most.
But most of all, there is something really repugnant about a guy like Trump suggesting that Americans are gorging on medical care because it’s (supposedly) free. Especially when Trump is wealthy enough to splurge on his own medical care as much as he’d like. Especially when Trump pretends to be looking out for the little guy who can’t. And most especially when Trump claims to be qualified for president and he doesn’t even know that the plan he’s touting has already been in effect for more than a decade.
Of course, Hannity did not question a word of Trump's "policy proposal."
By the way, Forbes noted on March 3 that neither Trump nor his anonymous staffer who posted the HSA proposal on the Trump website knows that HSAs are already the law of the land. But, apparently, neither Trump, his staff nor Hannity know or care.
Watch this disgraceful example of what Fox promotes as news below, from the March 7 Hannity.
Well, perhaps Mitch McTurtle should have been negotiating with Obama instead of simply obstructing at every turn… then they would perhaps have come up with some great solutions.
Right? Nah, I guess not. Let them eat cake!
Obamacare isn’t the first time Republicans have taken us out on this date, promised to kiss us first and all of that, then commanded us to grab our ankles. Recall ‘Clintoncare’ the other healthcare plan Republicans and their corporate media pals mocked by attaching a president’s name?
Yeah, the idea of government healthcare back then squeezed from the Republicans all sorts of promises of something better. Until it didn’t pass and America got nothing.
Fast forward to deja vu inducing 2016 and the Republicans have so many great ideas to replace Obamacare they can’t pick which one’s to share with the American public outside of secret meetings.
Is this a rerun of a bad horror movie or what?
If you watch Fox News’ pile of crap “Forbes on Fox” then you’re familiar with Steve Forbes and his merry band of sycophants pimping health savings accounts. They offer all kinds of tax benefits to give the Tea Party a woody. Great solution for the low income working poor. Or maybe not so much. Great insurance plans too if you’re into crappy, bankruptcy inducing catastrophic plans which discourage such un-American things as preventive care.
I’ll have to credit Fox. They’ve turned ACA into a swear word so with nary a fact but the mere mention of Obamacare bile rises in conservatives’ throats and they become single issue voters.
I watched the televised Obamacare meetings between Republicans and Democrats. Obama asked Boehner, Canter, et al if they had any ideas to contribute beyond the usual GOP subjects of HSAs, deregulation promoting insurance across state lines, tort reform, etc. This crap had been scored poorly and I think netted only 3 million uninsured, a mere fraction of ACA scoring. They literally sat there in silence.
The idea of me shopping for something as complex as open heart surgery, forgetting the issue of urgency you correctly raise, is idiotic. This isn’t like shopping happy meals at fast food joints.
I’ve got great health insurance through my employer. Anthem negotiates the details with providers for me using the power of numbers – I’m in a large insurance pool. So when I recently had hernia surgery, my hospital billed over $25,000. Anthem paid less than $8,000. My out of pocket was $450. Good luck negotiating that on your own, Der Furor. 👍