Trump Promises “Insurance for Everyone” as Obamacare Replacement

President-elect takes aim at high drug prices

President-elect Donald Trump has told the Washington Post that he is nearing completion of a plan to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) with the goal of “insurance for everybody,” while also vowing to force drug companies to negotiate directly with the government on prices in Medicare and Medicaid. He declined to give specific details.

According to the Post, Trump’s plan is likely to face questions from the right, after years of GOP opposition to further expansion of government involvement in the health care system, as well as from the left, which sees his ideas as disruptive to changes brought by the PPACA.

In addition to his replacement plan for the PPACA, Trump told the Post that he will target pharmaceutical companies over drug prices. “They’re politically protected, but not anymore,” he remarked.

Trump said his plan for replacing most aspects of the PPACA is almost finished. 

“It’s very much formulated down to the final strokes. We haven’t put it in quite yet, but we’re going to be doing it soon,” he said. He added that he is waiting for his nominee for secretary of health and human services, Representative Tom Price (R-Georgia), to be confirmed.

As he developed a replacement package, Trump said he has paid attention to critics who say that repealing Obamacare would put coverage at risk for more than 20 million Americans covered under the act’s insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion.

“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” People covered under the law “can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better.”

Trump remarked that he did not intend to cut benefits for Medicare as part of his plan.

Source: Washington Post; January 15, 2017.