Well it has now been more than two weeks since my last post which proved by linking to Donald Trump’s written health care policy proposals that Mr. Trump does not support a “Single Payer Socialized Medicine” system. Since I wrote that piece I have been basking in the hate of Ted Cruz supporters – many of whom neither read my piece or Mr. Trump’s written policy proposals linked within. So, I have decided to write a new piece for all who are still interested in my take on health care policy. I can only assume that does not include hundreds of my fellow Conservative former friends and allies who are Ted Cruz supporters who have since blocked me on Facebook and Twitter after leaving encouraging comments like “you’re a f*cking liar and a traitorous piece of sh*t“. “Believe me” I’m “feeling the burn” and it’s not coming from Bernie Sanders supporters or an untreated STD.
The hate is unfortunately coming from my fellow Conservatives who are so ideologically opposed to a Trump presidency that they are willing to ignore his current proposals and instead find every opinion piece they can find that links to interviews Trump gave 15 years ago (or earlier) in a failed attempt to prove that Mr. Trump supports a “Single Payer Socialized Medicine” system. Even though Mr. Trump has stated repeatedly in print and verbally that he abandoned consideration of such a plan for the United States long before writing his current proposals contained in chapter 8 of his 2011 book entitled “Time To Get Tough” and chapter 7 of his 2015 book entitled “Crippled America”.
Providing a safety net is NOT “supporting Socialized Medicine for all Americans“
What you will find in those two chapters of Mr. Trump’s most recent books are free market health care reform proposals that are remarkably similar to Ted Cruz’s health care reform proposals. I wrote about Ted Cruz’s “Healthy Choice Act of 2015” shortly after it was released last year. Both candidates propose the following:
1.) Repeal of the PPACA (Obamacare)
2.) Repeal of the McCarran Ferguson Act so health insurance can be sold across state lines.
3.) Expansion of Health Savings Accounts to promote price transparency & accountability.
4.) Tort (or Medical Malpractice Reform)
5.) Mr. Trump has most recently added private sector 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!
It is unfortunately rather difficult for the average person to determine the similarities between both candidate’s plans because neither Mr. Trump or Mr. Cruz have their health care policy proposals linked on their websites and that needs to change yesterday.
Preserving and reforming existing health care safety nets
There’s something else you will discover when you compare Mr. Trump’s proposals to Mr. Cruz’s proposals. Neither candidate proposes abolishing our existing health care safety nets. They include the following:
1.) Ronald Reagan’s E.M.T.A.L.A which requires every hospital that accepts Medicare and Medicaid (which is nearly all of them) to care for any patient who presents with an emergency “regardless of their ability to pay.” Oh my gosh! Reagan was a SOCIALIST!??
2.) Medicaid which provides either taxpayer funded access to health care services or subsidized private health insurance on a sliding income scale for the indigent and the developmentally disabled.
3.) S.C.H.I.P which was a bipartisan piece of legislation written to ensure that children of parents – who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private health insurance – have access to health insurance on a sliding income scale.
So, either Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are both ‘Socialists’ seeking to ‘subvert our Constitution’ by implementing ‘Socialized Medicine’ or far too many Americans are either ignorant about actual health care policy or willfully ignorant and choose instead to promulgate a false narrative to advance an agenda…..but I digress.
Two options for covering preexisting conditions in the individual marketplace
What I found lacking in Donald Trump’s proposals but clearly outlined in Ted Cruz’s proposals is specifically how preexisting conditions will be covered in the individual health insurance market place. Senator Cruz proposes a preexisting solution to preexisting conditions. He relies upon protections that existed before the PPACA as outlined in sections 2741 and 2744 of 1996 HIPPA law for those who are HIPAA qualified. This means that they have maintained existing coverage for at least 18 months with no lapse in coverage of more than 63 days. These insured members would have guaranteed access to coverage for preexisting conditions in the individual marketplace via:
A). A state high risk health insurance pool – which existed in 35 states long before the PPACA
B.) A guarantee issue individual mandate – which existed in 10 states – including Ohio – long before the PPACA
C.) A state mandated replacement policy – which is required to be offered in the states that did not have one of the two aforementioned options under section 2744 of HIPAA.
That is one option that Mr. Trump could consider. That option would require rebuilding and funding that preexisting state infrastructure since that was largely abolished because it was no longer necessary upon full implementation of the PPACA in 2014.
This brings me to Mr. Trump’s other option. To keep our existing national 90 day open enrollment period which was originally an idea used by 10 different states long before the PPACA. However, if Mr. Trump chooses this option, he absolutely must correct the mistake made by the ‘masterminds’ who wrote the PPACA. That mistake was not allowing health insurers to underwrite normal paper throughout the year. This was allowed in states like Ohio (and 9 other states) long before the PPACA. In fact, that’s where the ‘authors’ of the PPACA got the idea of a short annual open enrollment period for those with preexisting conditions. The state of Ohio was doing that for all Ohio residents for years before the PPACA. However, Ohio regulators did not stop health insurers from underwriting other coverage throughout the year. So, people with preexisting conditions that were severe enough to warrant a decline (cancer, diabetes, morbid obesity etc.) could purchase health insurance during the annual open enrollment window and everyone else could buy health insurance throughout the rest of the year whenever they wanted. Best part? That system worked remarkably well without the unconstitutional imposition of an ‘individual mandate’ to purchase health insurance.
By allowing health insurers to underwrite other consumers with less severe preexisting conditions like hypertension or hyperlipidimia throughout the rest of the year, health insurers were able to mitigate the risk they would have to assume during the annual open enrollment period. The ‘masterminds’ who wrote the PPACA decided that part wasn’t such a good idea to include. You know, because they didn’t want those ‘evil’ insurance companies ‘discriminating’ against anyone. How exactly is that ‘discriminating’ when the carriers were still offering those consumers coverage and covering their preexisting conditions? It’s not, but the masterminds of the PPACA decided to place their Leftist ideology ahead of time tested and proven business models. Surely we can do better.
To learn more about preexisting conditions visit: TruthAboutPreexistingConditions.com
March 2, 2016 UPDATE: Mr. Trump posts healthcare reform plans on his website. No “Single Payer Socialized Medicine” included.