Now that Donald Trump has won the New Hampshire primary and proved himself as a legitimate threat to win the Republican nomination, it’s time to take a serious look at his policy proposals. When it comes to healthcare, Trump hasn’t had much to say of substance, but the policy pronouncements we have gotten from him are a mix of socialism and incoherence.
For decades, Trump has shown a soft spot for socialized medicine. In his 2000 book The America We Deserve, Trump described himself as a “liberal” on healthcare and suggested the U.S. should look to Canada’s socialist system as a “prototype.” During a Republican presidential debate, he said the socialist systems in Canada and Scotland worked well.
During an interview on “60 Minutes,” last September, Trump said, “Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, ‘No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private.’ But … I am going to take care of everybody.” Asked who would pay for it, Trump said, “The government’s gonna pay for it.”
He’s talked about government using its bargaining power to negotiate prices with doctors, hospitals and drug companies — one of the central arguments in favor of socialized medicine.
Whenever he’s been confronted on his socialist healthcare ideas by Sen. Ted Cruz, Trump has called Cruz a “liar” and said he wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a free market alternative. Yet when he actually speaks about healthcare, he reveals he has no idea what he’s talking about. He rambles nonsensically, throwing out terms here and there that perhaps he’s picked up in briefings, but they make no sense in the context which he’s using them.
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