Donald Trump on Health Care

2016 Republican nominee for President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President


Let vets see private doctors or VA: that's not privatization

CLINTON: I will not let the V.A. be privatized. And I do think there is an agenda out there, supported by my opponent, to do just that.

TRUMP: I never said take the Veterans Administration private. I wouldn't do that. But I do believe, when you're waiting in line for six, seven days, you should never be in a position like that. You go out, you see the doctor, you get yourself taken care of. The V.A. is really almost a corrupt enterprise. So we are going to make it efficient and good. And if it's not good, you're going out to private hospitals, public hospitals, and doctors.

FACT-CHECK: Trump's campaign published a "Veterans Plan" last October. It doesn't call for the VA to be completely privatized, but allows veterans to get care at any non-VA medical center that accepts Medicare. Trump stuck to the idea when he released his "Ten Point Plan To Reform The VA" in July, giving "every veteran the choice to seek care at the VA or at a private service provider of their own choice."

Source: USA Today Fact-check on 2016 NBC Commander-in-Chief forum , Sep 7, 2016

Create V.A. mental health division to reduce veteran suicide

Q: What is your plan to stop 20 veterans a day from killing themselves?

A: It's almost impossible to conceive that this is happening in our country, 20 to 22 people a day are killing themselves. A lot of it is they're killing themselves over the fact that they're under tremendous pain and they can't see a doctor. We're going to speed up the process. We're going to create a great mental health division. I have a powerful plan that's on my website. One of the problems is the wait time. Vets are waiting six days, seven days, eight days. Under my plan, if they have that long wait, they walk outside, they go to the local doctor, they choose the doctor, they choose the hospital, whether it's public or private, they get themselves better. We will pay the bill.

Source: 2016 NBC Commander-in-Chief forum with Matt Lauer , Sep 7, 2016

Keep pre-existing condition coverage; not individual mandate

Q: Senator Rubio, you said that Mr. Trump thinks part of ObamaCare is pretty good. Which part?

RUBIO: The individual mandate. He said he likes the individual mandate portion of it; I don't believe that should remain there. We need to repeal ObamaCare completely and replace it with a system that puts Americans in charge of their health care money again.

TRUMP: I agree with that 100%, except pre-existing conditions, I would absolutely get rid of ObamaCare. I want to keep pre- existing conditions. It's a modern age, and I think we have to have it.

Q: The insurance companies say is that the only way that they can cover people with pre-existing conditions is to have a mandate requiring everybody purchase health insurance. Are they wrong?

TRUMP: I think they're wrong 100%. Look, the insurance companies take care of the politicians [and vice-versa]. The insurance companies are making an absolute fortune. Yes, they will keep preexisting conditions, and that would be a great thing.

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

Removing cross-state barriers solves many insurance issues

TRUMP: We should have gotten rid of the lines around the state so there's competition. The insurance companies are making a fortune on every single thing they do. You're going to see preexisting conditions, but the price will be down, and the insurance companies can pay. Yes, they will keep preexisting conditions, and that would be a great thing. Get rid of ObamaCare, we'll come up with new plans. But, we should keep preexisting conditions.

RUBIO: Here's what you didn't hear in that answer. What is your plan? I understand the lines around the state, whatever that means. This is not a game where you draw maps. What is your plan, Mr. Trump?

TRUMP: You get rid of the lines, it brings in competition. So, instead of having one insurance company taking care of New York, or Texas, you'll have many. They'll compete, and it'll be a beautiful thing.

RUBIO: So, that's the only part of the plan? Just the lines?

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

Chief Justice Roberts: a disaster who gave us ObamaCare

Justice Roberts gave us ObamaCare. Might as well be called Roberts-care. Two times of the Supreme Court, Justice Roberts approved something that he should have never raised his hand to approve. And we ended up with ObamaCare. That judge has been a disaster in terms of everything we stand for because there is no way -- no way that he should have approved ObamaCare.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

Taking care of poor sick people isn't single-payer

Q: If Obamacare is repealed & there's no mandate for everybody to have insurance, why would insurance companies insure somebody who has a pre-existing condition?

TRUMP: Well, I like the mandate. I don't want people dying on the streets. The Republican people, they don't want people dying on the streets, but sometimes they'll say "Donald Trump wants single payer."

Q: Will people with pre-existing conditions be able to get insurance?

TRUMP: Yes. Now, the new plan is good. It's going to be inexpensive. It's going to be much better for the people at the bottom, people that don't have any money. We're going to take care of them through maybe concepts of Medicare. Now, some people would say, "that's not a very Republican thing to say." That's not single payer, by the way. That's called heart. We gotta take care of people that can't take care of themselves.

Source: 2016 CNN GOP Town Hall in South Carolina , Feb 18, 2016

Insurance companies love a lack of competition

I have thousands of employees. If I'm negotiating for health insurance for my people in New York or California of Texas, I usually have one bidder in each state. Competition brings down prices, and the way the law is now, it discourages real competition between insurance companies for customers. They have virtual monopolies within the states. That makes no sense. It's very stupid and unfair for us.

You know who loves a lack of competition? Those insurance companies, who are making a fortune because they control the politicians. They've paid for them with their contributions, and it's a good investment from their perspectives. For our country, not so much. They give money to almost all the politicians.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 75 , Nov 3, 2015

Replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts

Q: On health care, Ben Carson's calling for health savings accounts. What do you think of that?

TRUMP: Well, I'm OK with the savings accounts. I think it's a good idea; it's a very down-the-middle idea. It works. It's something that's proven. The one thing we have to do is repeal and replace ObamaCare. It is a disaster. People's premiums are going up 35 percent, 45 percent, 55 percent. Their deductibles are so high nobody's ever going to get to use it. So ObamaCare is turning out to be a bigger disaster than anybody thought.

Q: So if you agree with these health savings accounts idea, do you also agree with Ben Carson when he says Medicare probably won't be necessary?

TRUMP: Well, it's possible. You're going to have to look at that, but I'll tell you what, the health savings accounts, I've been talking about it also. I think it's a very good idea.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz , Oct 25, 2015

Stockpile treatments against future pandemics & bioterrorism

A few of Trump's proposals in his 2000 book "The America We Deserve" did show he was both forward-looking and ideologically flexible. Among them was a project to develop and stockpile treatments in anticipation of future pandemics or the release of biological agents by terrorists.
Source: Never Enough, by Michael D'Antonio, p.250 , Sep 22, 2015

Ebola virus in America is Obama's fault

Trump could bypass the gatekeepers in the press to reach people directly with his messages. Trump said he did own writing online, and given the wide range of tones in his comments, this seemed true. A devoted tweeter, his online statements address everything from a doctor in New York with the Ebola virus--"Obama's fault"--to the notion that the Big Apple could actually benefit from global warming, if the phenomenon is real, because it suffers from uncomfortable cold snaps in the winter.
Source: Never Enough, by Michael D`Antonio, p.331 , Sep 22, 2015

I'm for vaccines, but in smaller quantities to avoid autism

Q [to Carson]: Donald Trump has publicly and repeatedly linked autism to childhood vaccines. Your opinion?

CARSON: There have been numerous studies, and they have not demonstrated that there is any correlation between vaccinations and autism.

Q [to Trump]: As president, you would be in charge of the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health, both of which say you are wrong.

TRUMP: Autism has become an epidemic. It has gotten totally out of control. I am totally in favor of vaccines. But I want smaller doses over a longer period of time. You take this little baby, and you pump--I mean, it looks like it's meant for a horse, not for a child. Just the other day, a 2-year-old child went to have the vaccine, and got a fever; now is autistic. I'm in favor of vaccines, do them over a longer period of time, same amount. And I think you're going to see a big impact on autism.

CARSON: We are probably giving way too many in too short a period of time.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

The insurance companies have total control over politicians

Q: ObamaCare is one of the things you call a disaster.

TRUMP: A complete disaster, yes.

Q: Saying it needs to be repealed & replaced.

TRUMP: Correct.

Q: Now, 15 years ago, you called yourself a liberal on health care. You were for a single-payer system, a Canadian-style system. Why were you for that then and why aren't you for it now?

TRUMP: As far as single payer, it works in Canada. It could have worked in a different age. What I'd like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state. I have a big company with thousands of employees. And if I'm negotiating in BY or NJ or CA, I have like one bidder. Nobody can bid. You know why? Because the insurance companies are making a fortune because they have control of the politicians. They're making a fortune. Get rid of the artificial lines and you will have yourself great plans. And then we have to take care of the people that can't take care of themselves. And I will do that through a different system.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

We didn't have a free market before ObamaCare

Q: in 2000, you wrote that you're a liberal on health care, and you supported a Canadian-style system, where the government acts as an insurer. Is that what you still believe?

A: You know, I looked at that. I looked at it very seriously. Some people don't agree with me on this: I want everyone to have coverage. I love the free market, but we never had a free market. Even before ObamaCare, it wasn't really free market. As an example, in New York, when I wanted to bid out my health insurance, we had boundaries. I could only go in New York. If I wanted to bid it out to a company from California or New Jersey, anywhere--you get no bids.

Q: But the single payer, you're not interested anymore?

A: No. No, these are different times. And over the years, you are going to change your attitudes. You're going to learn things and you're going to change. And I have evolved on that issue. I have evolved on numerous issues.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 28, 2015

ObamaCare is a catastrophe that must be repealed & replaced

What does Donald Trump believe? ObamaCare: Repeal it. Replace it.

Speaking at the Iowa Freedom Summit in January, Trump said ObamaCare is a catastrophe that must be repealed and replaced. In 2011, Trump suggested that the health insurance industry have more ability to cross state lines. In "The America We Deserve" Trump wrote that he supported universal healthcare and a system that would mirror Canada's government-run healthcare service.

Source: PBS News Hour "2016" series on 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit , Jun 16, 2015

Don't cut Medicare; grow the economy to keep benefits

What does Donald Trump believe? Entitlements: Do not cut Social Security or Medicare benefits. Grow the economy to save those programs.

The real estate tycoon told CPAC in 2013 that Republicans should not cut Social Security or Medicare because most Americans want to keep the benefits as they stand now. His solution is unclear, but he has indicated that general economic growth would play a role. Trump tweeted in May that he knows "where to get the money from" and "nobody else does."

Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Jun 16, 2015

ObamaCare deductibles are so high that it's useless

We have a disaster called the big lie: ObamaCare. Yesterday, it came out that costs are going for people up 29, 39, 49, and even 55%, and deductibles are through the roof. You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, to use it, because the deductibles are so high, it's virtually useless. It is a disaster.

And remember the $5 billion Web site? $5 billion we spent on a Web site, and to this day it doesn't work. I have so many Web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a Web site.

And it's going to get worse, because remember, ObamaCare really kicks in, in 2016. It is going to be amazingly destructive. Doctors are quitting. I have a friend who's a doctor, and he said to me, "Donald, I never saw anything like it. I have more accountants than I have nurses."

We have to repeal ObamaCare, and it can be replaced with something much better for everybody. Let it be for everybody. But much better and much less expensive for people and for the government. And we can do it.

Source: 2015 announcement speeches of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 16, 2015

Make health insurance premiums tax-deductible

Our elected representatives in the House & Senate must allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system. Businesses are allowed to take these deductions so why wouldn't Congress allow individuals the same exemptions? As we allow the free market to provide insurance coverage opportunities to companies and individuals, we must also make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance. We must review basic options for Medicaid and work with states to ensure that those who want healthcare coverage can have it.

There are other reforms that might be considered if they serve to lower costs, remove uncertainty & provide financial security for all Americans. And we must also take actions in other policy areas to lower healthcare costs and burdens. Enforcing immigration laws, eliminating fraud and waste and energizing our economy will relieve the economic pressures felt by every American.

Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, DonaldJTrump.com , Mar 15, 2015

Save Medicare & Medicaid without cutting them to the bone

He pledged to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid "without cutting it to the bone" by "making the country rich again." He vowed to repeal Obama's Affordable Care Act and replace it with something better, although he didn't provide any details.

Trump made no effort to woo mainstream GOP elected officials. He remarked, "I am a Republican, and I am disappointed with our Republican politicians because they let our president get away with absolute murder."

Source: Des Moines Register on 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit , Jan 24, 2015

Kill ObamaCare before it becomes a trillion-ton weight

Obamacare can't be reformed, salvaged, or fixed. It's that bad. Obamacare has to be killed now before it grows into an even bigger mess, as it inevitably will. Obamacare takes full effect in 2014. If it's not repealed before then, it will be more than just another failed government entitlement program--it will be the trillion-ton weight that finally takes down our economy forever.

Obamacare is a heat-seeking missile that will destroy jobs & small businesses; it will explode health-care costs; and it will lead to health care that is far less innovative than it is today. Every argument that you'd make against socialism you can make against socialized health care, and any candidate who isn't 100% committed to scrapping Obamacare is not someone America should elect president. Repealing Obamacare may be one of the most important and consequential actions our next president takes.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p.121-122 , Dec 5, 2011

Increase insurance competition across state lines

Even if we elect a real president who will get tough and repeal Obamacare, we still need a plan to bring down health-care costs and make health-care insurance more affordable for everyone. It starts with increasing competition between insurance companies. Competition makes everything better and more affordable.

One way to infuse more competition into the market is to let citizens purchase health-care plans across state lines.

This could be easily accomplished if Congress got some guts and did the right thing. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress control over interstate commerce. But for whatever reason, the Congress has never exercised this power regarding health insurance. They need to.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p.131 , Dec 5, 2011

1988: Flew sick kids cross-country on his private jet

On the day before the Rosh Hashanah holiday each year for the past eighteen years, I receive a message from a Rabbi in Los Angles. The reason the Rabbi calls me every year is because back in 1988, he and his wife had a three-year-old son who had an illness that was confounding the doctors in Los Angeles. One day the boy's father called me to see if they could borrow my jet. He didn't know me, and I didn't know him. But he explained that no commercial airline would fly his son due to the extreme equipment required to sustain his life. It was considered too big of a risk. I had small children at the time, and I immediately said yes to his request. How could I say no?

I sent my jet out and brought the little boy and his parents to NYC with the hope that doctors here might find a cure for the severe breathing illness from which he was suffering. His cure was not to be, but his parents remained grateful to this day.

Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 13-4 , Apr 27, 2010

We must have universal health care

Iím a conservative on most issues but a liberal on health. It is an unacceptable but accurate fact that the number of uninsured Americans has risen to 42 million. Working out detailed plans will take time. But the goal should be clear: Our people are our greatest asset. We must take care of our own. We must have universal healthcare.

Our objective [should be] to make reforms for the moment and, longer term, to find an equivalent of the single-payer plan that is affordable, well-administered, and provides freedom of choice. Possible? The good news is, yes. There is already a system in place-the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program-that can act as a guide for all healthcare reform. It operates through a centralized agency that offers considerable range of choice. While this is a government program, it is also very much market-based. It allows 620 private insurance companies to compete for this market. Once a year participants can choose from plans which vary in benefits and costs.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.206-208 & 218 , Jul 2, 2000

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