President Donald Trump supplied a preview of what his 2020 well being agenda would possibly appear like in a speech Thursday — blasting Democratic proposals for reform and saying he would sort out points akin to prescription drug costs and affordability.
He outlined the pillars of his well being care imaginative and prescient, which included defending weak sufferers; delivering reasonably priced care and pharmaceuticals; offering decisions and management; and bettering take care of veterans.
In the speech, delivered in The Villages, Fla., earlier than the president signed an executive order to broaden Medicare Advantage, Trump additionally took purpose at overhaul plans being advocated by his Democratic opponents, claiming their strategy would “put everyone into a single socialist government-run program that would end private insurance.”
He stated he and Republicans are dedicated to defending individuals who have preexisting situations — a declare that PolitiFact and Kaiser Health News beforehand rated False, due to his administration’s insurance policies.
And, in step with the Medicare Advantage theme, he spoke a couple of controversial transfer by the Obama administration to cut back future funds to that program by $800 billion. (This level, beforehand examined by PolitFact, was found to be Half True — however Trump didn’t observe that the reductions didn’t have an effect on this system’s beneficiaries, or that he has used a similar approach in projecting future Medicare spending reductions.)
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He challenged Congress to approve laws to curb shock medical payments and lauded enhancements within the veterans’ well being system.
But the speech included a number of different claims directed at Democrats and the at the moment buzzy proposal of “Medicare for All” that might simply have left some individuals befuddled. We broke down a couple of.
Trump instructed his viewers that “Democrats are draining your health care to finance the open borders.”
We requested the White House for the idea of this comment and by no means obtained a particular reply. But there are numerous points to look at.
In August, the president argued that Democrats “support giving illegal immigrants free healthcare at our expense.” But that isn’t correct. The assertion, a part of a Trump 2020 tv commercial, was rated Mostly False.
That declare examined Democratic candidates who had stated throughout one of many televised debates that their well being care plans would supply protection to undocumented immigrants. But the query posed by a debate host didn’t ask whether or not protection can be free. In truth, a number of candidates stated protection for undocumented individuals wouldn’t be free. Some, in the meantime, embrace copays and deductibles of their well being care proposals. Plus, if any Medicare for All plan was financed by, as an illustration, payroll taxes, undocumented immigrants would even be topic to paying these.
Trump argued that Democratic proposals for common well being care “would totally obliterate Medicare” — including that “whether it’s single-payer or the so-called public option … they want to raid Medicare to fund a thing called socialism.”
The argument right here is nuanced however, essentially, Trump’s characterization misses the mark and is deceptive.
The “single-payer” invoice he refers to is the Medicare for All proposal pushed by Democratic Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The invoice would put all Americans — together with the seniors at the moment lined by Medicare — right into a single well being plan. It would share Medicare’s identify however look dramatically totally different: Unlike the present program, the proposal envisions masking nearly all medical providers and eliminating value sharing. It wouldn’t be administered by personal, for-profit contractors.
Predicting what this appears like is troublesome because it’s grounded in hypotheticals. And one may argue that utilizing the time period “obliterates” shouldn’t be fully off base as a result of Medicare in its present kind would not exist. But that misses the broader impression. Under the proposal because it’s written, seniors can be insured by a program not less than as beneficiant — if no more — than what they at the moment obtain.
As for “public option” proposals put forth by candidates akin to former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, they would depart Medicare roughly as it’s, whereas additionally making a public well being plan uninsured individuals may purchase into.
Describing Medicare for All, Trump stated the plan would “reduce Americans’ household income by $17,000 a year.”
We contacted the White House to seek out out the supply of this quantity. The administration acknowledged receipt however by no means despatched a solution.
That stated, it’s unclear the place this quantity comes from, as a result of the proof merely doesn’t exist to make such a exact declare. After all, many particulars about Medicare for All are nonetheless being labored out. That makes it exceptionally troublesome to determine how a lot such a system would value — not to mention how a person family’s funds would possibly change underneath such a system. (This ambiguity is why the Congressional Budget Office has declined to estimate single-payer’s fiscal impression.)
And totally different households would doubtless make out in another way underneath Medicare for All. Some would possibly find yourself paying extra. But others would doubtless pay extra in taxes whereas nonetheless seeing their well being care prices go down — that means they might finally lower your expenses.
Trump stated, “the Democrat plans for socialized medicine will not just put doctors and hospitals out of business, they will also deny your treatment and everything that you need.”
This assertion depends on a speaking level that’s been broadly debunked.
We targeted on the primary a part of this declare. Both conservatives and reasonable Democrats have argued that single-payer well being care, particularly, would drive hospitals and medical doctors to shutter en masse. (Conservatives have made this argument a couple of public choice as effectively.) In a previous associated truth verify, we rated this as False.
The argument springs from the way in which Medicare at the moment reimburses hospitals, at 87 cents for each greenback spent on well being care. But the Sanders invoice doesn’t set a reimbursement charge, and as an alternative would cost the federal authorities with devising an applicable charge.
Some hospitals would possibly wrestle underneath a brand new system — however others, well being care economists have beforehand instructed us, would doubtless do higher.
“It really depends on which hospitals you’re talking about,” Gerard Anderson, a well being coverage professor at Johns Hopkins University and an skilled in hospital pricing, instructed Kaiser Health News in July.
Shefali Luthra: ShefaliL@kff.org”>ShefaliL@kff.org, @Shefalil
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