Donald Trump fleshes out healthcare policy proposals

Fresh off key victories in the Super Tuesday primaries, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has added more details to his healthcare policy proposals, saying his plan will broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care that is available to all Americans.

In his policy platform, Trump criticizes the Affordable Care Act, saying it has resulted in "runaway costs, websites that don't work, greater rationing of care, higher premiums, less competition and fewer choices." He says reform must include a free market system, which would start with a full repeal of the ACA.

Trump lists seven steps he believes it will take to reform the healthcare system. They are:

  1. Fully repeal the ACA, eliminating the individual mandate
  2. Allow the sale of insurance across state lines, which will promote competition in the market
  3. Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system, as businesses are allowed to do
  4. Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts, for which contributions would be tax-free and available to family members without penalty
  5. Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations such as clinics and hospitals
  6. Allow states to run their own Medicare programs
  7. Allow drugs to be imported into the U.S., which would bring more options to consumers

Trump also says that if the country enforces its current immigration laws, it would relieve healthcare cost pressures on state and local governments. In terms of mental health issues, Trump believes tools should be given to people in order to help their families, but his plan does not go into specifics on how to achieve this.

Healthcare policies have become a focal point for the 2016 presidential race, with Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton battling it out over the feasibility of a single-payer system. But critics pointed out that an earlier version of Trump's plan was considerably short on specifics, FierceHealthPayer has reported. Others have noted that his plan to sell insurance across state lines, a common policy position within the GOP, fails to take into account that the barriers to doing so are not regulatory, but are tied to financial and provider network issues.

To learn more:
- here is Trump's announcement