Trumpcare

I believe that President Trump will keep his promise about replacing Obamacare with a better version. This is what President Trump has promised: 1) He won’t take away Medicare. 2) All US citizens, including people with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, will have insurance. 3) Insurance costs for the citizens will be lower than under Obamacare. What will Trumpcare look like? I hope it will look a lot like Medicare but will have deductibles and co-pays that are lower than under Obamacare. I predict that President Trump will implement Trumpcare over a few years. The first year, citizens under age 20 will be covered. The second year, people from age 20 to age 30 will be added to Trumpcare. The third year, people from age 30 to age 40 will be added to Trumpcare. The fourth year, people from age 50 up who are not covered by Medicare will be added to Trumpcare. This will be paid for mostly, or completely, by payroll taxes rather than taxes on only the rich. Rather than paying premiums to insurance companies, people will pay taxes to the federal government. If President Trump does this, he may go down in history as the kindest, best, and greatest President in US history.

PUBLIC DOMAIN. The above paragraph is not copyrighted. Use it as you will.

On MON/Jan 23, 2017, I received this email from Senator Rob Portman of Ohio after I had sent him the paragraph about Trumpcare above:

Dear David, 

Thank you for taking the time to write me with your concerns regarding the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As you may have heard, President Obama’s health law is likely to be repealed and replaced in the coming session of Congress. My position has long been in favor of repealing the ACA and replacing the law with a patient-centered and consumer-driven alternative. Before diving into the specifics of what I expect to see in law’s replacement, please know that I support a transition period that would maintain premium subsidies and Medicaid coverage through at least 2017 in order to ensure that all affected individuals will have due time to adjust to the new system and that no one loses coverage unexpectedly. 

I have heard from families and individuals all over Ohio who are experiencing serious difficulties that come directly from President Obama’s health care law. It is evident that our current health care delivery system is broken and that improving health care for all Americans needs to be one of our country’s top priorities. Costs are skyrocketing, and too many Ohio families are struggling to pay for health care. The Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) reports that the average cost of health insurance premiums for 2017 will be 12.6% greater than 2016 average costs. Moreover, according to data from ODI, premium costs for 2017 reflect a 91% average cost increase in the individual insurance market since President Obama’s health law went into effect. Six years after the law’s passage, it is painfully clear for too many Americans that care has become less affordable under the ACA. 

I am concerned that, while the ACA aims to reform the health care system, the law creates more challenges of basic cost and access to care than it solves. Fiscally sustainable reform is needed to reduce costs to families and businesses as well as to improve access to affordable coverage without hurting the economy. With the intention to better serve the people who have been disadvantaged by President Obama’s poorly conceived law, I have assembled a few key ideas that would be central to a new and improved healthcare system. Most importantly, we need reforms that will make healthcare in the U.S. more patient-centered and consumer-driven. Such reforms could include enacting important consumer protections in the insurance market, like prohibiting lifetime limits on coverage and requiring insurance companies to cover dependent children up to age 26. A consumer-driven healthcare system would also include protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions so that they may not be denied coverage as well as a refundable tax credit targeted to certain individuals solely for the purchase of health coverage. 

We need reforms that would protect care providers, such as provisions to limit frivolous lawsuits and to reign in defensive medicine. We must allow states to play a bigger role by focusing on reforms that will empower them to come up with creative ways to provide coverage and reduce costs, such as high-risk pools and small business-specific health options. To the latter point, I have worked throughout my tenure in the Senate to ease the burden on small businesses from the many mandates and provisions imposed by the ACA that have led to higher premiums and greater financial strain. Finally, in order to make care truly affordable, we must increase competition among insurers by allowing consumers to purchase insurance across state lines, and we must expand eligibility and usage options for health savings accounts. 

After six years of the status quo, it is clear now that health care costs have grown out of control for many Ohioans and that the ACA has failed in its promise to prevent this cost growth. The Federal government has spent over $1 trillion to increase coverage and yet 10% of the national population remains uninsured, to say nothing of the people who have had their access to their providers limited as a result of President Obama’s health law. It is beyond doubt that our nation’s health care system is broken, and while changing such a large and complicated system will take time, I believe that such change is necessary to ensure affordable access to high quality care for Ohioans and Americans across the country for years to come.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact my office on the future of our nation’s health care system. For more information you can visit my website at www.portman.senate.gov. Please keep in touch.

Sincerely, 

Rob Portman
U.S. Senator

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