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Trump's 5 Principles to 'Make America Healthy Again'

Trump's 5 Principles to 'Make America Healthy Again'

U.S. President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (L) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) listen on February 28, 2017, in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Jim Lo Scalzo - Pool/Getty Images)

By Friday, 03 March 2017 12:36 PM Current | Bio | Archive

President Trump gave his Joint Address to Congress this past Tuesday evening, and it was good to hear the guiding principles he gave Congress for repealing and replacing Obamacare.

President Trump’s first guiding principle was that "we should ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage, and that we have a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the healthcare exchanges."

Implementing this involves fine tuning in order to control costs. One cost control that I suggested in my Newsmax article "Trump Can Make America Healthy Again" (January 12, 2017) is a pre-existing condition signup period of two or three years. This signup exemption period would give Americans with pre-existing conditions the time needed to get coverage while also preventing adverse selection for providers in the long run. The goal is to get everyone coverage before they get sick, and the period would allow those who are already sick to get coverage and incentivize healthy people to get insured before the exemption period ends. Doing this would get Americans with pre-existing conditions coverage and drive the cost of healthcare down over time.

The second guiding principle was for the government to "help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded Health Savings Accounts — but it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by the Government."

The expansion could include raising the limits of Health Savings Accounts (HSA) to meet the current level of a policyholder’s deductible. Americans should also be able to use their HSA for over-the-counter drugs and medical supplies. Encouraging Americans to use these accounts to purchase their over-the-counter drugs and medical supplies with pre-tax earnings would reduce post-tax, out-of-pocket healthcare costs and ultimately put money back into the economy.

The third guiding principle that "we should give our great state governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out" is crucial to reducing waste and increasing access.

Each state has unique circumstances that need to be dealt with locally, and giving governors this flexibility will ensure that Medicaid resources are allocated efficiently.

In President Trump’s fourth guiding principle, he mentioned that the government should "work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately."

I also mentioned the issue of drug prices in my article as it was one of the core issues that came with Obamacare. People might have been "getting coverage" but when they went to pay for prescriptions, they were unable to afford them. What good is coverage if you can’t pay for the drugs that you are prescribed? My suggestion for bringing down drug prices is to implement a requirement that prescription drugs sold in America are sold at or below the price they are sold to other countries. Our country develops the medication, so why should we pay more? If anything, we should pay less. Positioning our drug purchasing like this is how we can lower the costs of drugs to help make America healthy again.

His fifth guiding principle is that the government should "give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines — creating a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring cost way down and provide far better care."

Creating a national marketplace could remove the fundamentally un-American provider monopolies that many counties currently experience. The cross-state competition would increase access to alternate plans, reduce costs and help the employer that has employees in multiple states.

Another aspect of healthcare that he mentioned, but wasn’t specifically a guiding principle, was how people and businesses were promised they could keep their pre-Obamacare plans. This could be one of the features in repealing Obamacare by allowing small businesses to keep their pre-Obamacare plans. These plans are more reasonable and aren’t bloated with unnecessary benefits, helping them compete with larger companies that are required to have said benefits.

Ultimately, America remains hopeful about the changes that could take place to finally "repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better healthcare."

Richard S. Bernstein, CEO of Richard S. Bernstein & Associates, Inc., West Palm Beach, is an insurance advisor for high net worth business leaders, families, businesses, municipalities, and charitable organizations. An insurance advisor to many of America’s wealthiest families, he is a writer, trusted local and national media resource and expert speaker on estate planning and health insurance. Visit his website at www.rbernstein.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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President Trump gave his Joint Address to Congress this past Tuesday evening, and it was good to hear the guiding principles he gave Congress for repealing and replacing Obamacare.
trump, healthcare, obamacare, joint address
Friday, 03 March 2017 12:36 PM
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