White House Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow says President Donald Trump plans to let Americans keep their private healthcare plans, unlike previous administrations.
“I can tell you one thing. President Trump has not and will not talk about removing 180 million people from their private insurance plan, he will not talk about that,” Kudlow recently told Fox Business Network.
“And by the by, some of the most important people depending on these generous corporate -- not government -- but corporate plans are union workers, rank-and-file union workers who will stay President Trump,” the veteran financial guru and former Ronald Reagan adviser said.
“Other matters: a federal guarantee for those with pre-existing conditions, you can choose any policy you want, we have gotten rid of individual mandate, he put through a transparency policy with respect to prices and costs, and any unexpected costs and also quality and performance, I could go on and on,” said Kudlow, who worked as Reagan’s budget deputy between 1981 and 1985.
“We'll have a very strong personal, individual choice. healthcare plan, we will protect those with pre-existing conditions and we will let you keep your excellent prior plan unlike some other administrations.” said Kudlow, who served as the Trump campaign's senior economic adviser.
There are 15 Democrats running for the party's nomination to challenge Trump in the November 2020 election, and their respective stances on healthcare have been major points of contention early in the campaign, Reuters explained.
Among the leading candidates, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have said their Medicare for All plans would lead to elimination of private health insurance in favor of government-run policies.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, have advocated for a public option, but would also give consumers the choice to keep their private insurers.
Last month, Kudlow said that Warren's plan for Medicare for all healthcare coverage, which she says will carry a price tag of more than $20 trillion over 10 years, would be "devastating to the economy."
"This idea of Medicare for all, and the so-called Green New Deal, and other proposals I've heard, I don't want to get into politics and policy grounds, (but) this would have a devastating catastrophic effect," Kudlow told Fox Business' Stuart Varney. "It would probably take out as much as 15% to 20% of our entire GDP."
The only way to meet the costs of Medicare for all would be to enact "deep, heavy, onerous middle-class tax increases," Kudlow added.
"It is the middle class who would have to pay the extra $100 billion or more to finance this kind of socialist government takeover of health care," said Kudlow. "It would have a catastrophic effect on the economy and all these numbers that we're seeing, all these numbers, on incomes per household, on wage increases, on jobs, all these numbers would literally evaporate and by the by, so would the stock market."
Warren came under fire for weeks when she would not reveal how she'd pay for universal coverage. She insists her plan to provide government-funded healthcare for all Americans would be done without raising taxes on the middle class. Instead, she is calling on companies to transfer 98% of the $8.8 trillion that she estimates they will spend covering private insurance costs for their employees.
"We can generate almost half of what we need to cover Medicare for All just by asking employers to pay slightly less than what they are projected to pay today, and through existing taxes," Warren said in an online post outlining the specifics of funding her program.
If that plan doesn't bring in the $8.8 trillion Warren has specified, she said she'll impose a supplemental contribution requirement for large corporations that have "extremely high executive compensation and stock buyback rates."
Trump has struggled to deliver on a pledge to lower drug costs for U.S. consumers, Reuters explained. Healthcare costs are expected to be a major focus of Trump's re-election campaign and for Democrats vying to run against him in the November 2020 election.
The Trump administration in July scrapped an ambitious policy that would have required health insurers to pass billions of dollars in rebates they receive from drugmakers to Medicare patients.
Also in July, a federal judge struck down a Trump administration rule that would have forced pharmaceutical companies to include wholesale prices of their drugs in television advertising.
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are putting forth drug pricing bills that contain some of the proposals Trump has advocated, such as basing public drug reimbursements on foreign drug costs.
Trump has said he will veto the Democratic-led House bill if it comes to his desk on the grounds that it would slow innovation.
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