Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s Health Care Plan Shows His Complete Disdain for Expertise

He's not just clueless-he's willfully ignorant.

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Foter / Gage Skidmore

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to repeal and replace Obamacare with something "terrific." But the details he has generally provided have been vague and contradictory.

Last week, however, Trump finally released his health care replacement plan. It is not terrific. It is not really a plan at all. Instead, it is a bunch of words somewhat related to health policy that his campaign is calling a plan. Those words demonstrate not only that Trump does not understand health care policy, but that he cannot be bothered to hire anyone who does to work with him. Even more than that, Trump's willful ignorance on this issue and others on suggests that his entire campaign is rooted in near-total disregard for expertise.

Let's start with the plan. It has a number of provisions, including: allowing for the full deduction of individual health plans on tax returns, block granting Medicaid, requiring price transparency from all health care organizations, legalizing the re-importation of prescription drugs from other countries, allowing for tax-free contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and allowing individuals to purchase health care across state lines.

Not all of these provisions are objectionable. In particular, there is a good case to be made for block-granting Medicaid, which is currently split between states and the federal government in a way that encourages overspending. But in no way does this grab bag of provisions constitute a coherent plan or system. There is no unifying theory behind these ideas, no policy framework to connect them. Calling this a "plan" is like finding a pantry cabinet that happens to have some yeast and flower in it and calling it bread.

Even that may be too generous, however, for the plan also demonstrates that Trump does not understand the ingredients he is working with.

His call to allow for the purchase of health insurance across state lines, for example, was predictable enough, given that removing the "lines around the states" was the only idea he could remember when asked at debate last month how he would replace Obamacare.

During the debate, it wasn't clear that Trump understood what he was proposing: He repeated his promise to eliminate "lines around the states" several times, but never offered any clear rationale for why you would want to remove legal barriers to purchasing state. It was as if that catch phrase was the only part of the talking point he could remember.

His plan confirms that he does not understand the purpose of the idea. The reason why you would want to allow interstate purchase of health insurance is that it would allow people in states where large numbers of insurance mandates have driven up the cost of coverage to purchase care from states where insurance is less subject to fewer mandates, and thus less expensive. So it is more than a little bit odd that his plan says that "as long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state." Trump's plan manages to specifically negate the intended benefit of the provision he is proposing.

TrumpCare's HSA provision is also worth singling out. The plan would "allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate," and would be able to be passed on tax-free as part of an estate, and used by any family member.

What makes this provision so strange is that HSAs that work exactly like this already exist. As Ryan Ellis notes at Forbes, they have existed since 2003, and more than 20 million Americans already use them.

Trump's plan makes no mention of this, and seems unaware that this provision has been law for more than a decade. It is less a health care plan than an admission of ignorance on the topic of health care policy.

At this point however, it is not really news that Trump is clueless when it comes to health policy. Trump has never demonstrated even the smallest iota of interest in in the underlying details of policy on this or any other issue. To the extent that he has provided any, they have been incoherent or contradictory: In interviews and speeches, he has praised single-payer health care and promised universal coverage paid for by the government, but also said that his Obamacare replacement will rely on competition and private plans. It is nonsense policy.

What this plan really demonstrates, then, is that his disdain for details extends beyond his personal ignorance and encompasses his entire campaign organization.

Trump apparently could not even be bothered to consult with someone who had a modicum of knowledge about health care policy. As Michael Cannon, a health policy scholar at the Cato Institute, wrote recently at Forbes, Trump's plan looks like it was put together by "a campaign operative copying and pasting a bunch of stuff from the around the web, without knowing what it means or even realizing that he's describing current law." No one seems to know who is advising Trump on health policy, and his campaign has refused to name any advisors—which, in combination with his plan and his statements on the trail, strongly suggests that no one is advising him. Trump is totally winging it.

And in the process, Trump is strongly signaling that he would govern the same way. When pressed for details about the vagueness of his plans, Trump often likes to say that he would rely on the advice of experts, putting them in a room and forcing them to come up with something that works. Conservative health wonks think his plan is absurd. Trump's half-baked health care plan makes it clear that he couldn't even be bothered to do that. No experts were locked in a room to create this plan. There is no evidence that any expertise was involved at all.

This utter disregard for expertise has visible throughout Trump's entire presidential run. His campaign has been promising for months to release the names of his foreign policy advisers in short order. The release is always said to be just a few days or weeks away. Sometimes Trump suggests that a team is already in place. But so far, the names of the advisers have not been released. Indeed, 117 Republican foreign policy experts just signed a harshly critical letter denouncing Trump as wildly inconsistent, fundamentally dishonest, and a danger to the Constitution. This is unusual even amongst populist outsider candidates. Ben Carson, whose grasp on policy detail was decidedly weak, made a token effort to seek out some policy expertise, though it didn't necessarily take.

Trump, then, is not just ignorant on policy details. He is willfully ignorant. It's not just that he doesn't know what he's talking about. It's that he's avoided finding out. 

He has cut off himself and his entire campaign from any basic facts or understanding of what governance involves or how it works. And the consequences of this decision are evident throughout his campaign, whether in his ludicrous promises to make Mexico pay for the construction of a southern border wall or in his insistence can cut $300 billion from $78 billion in government spending. He has not just cut himself off from the particulars of policy, but from reality itself.

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133 responses to “Donald Trump’s Health Care Plan Shows His Complete Disdain for Expertise

  1. Jesus tapdancing Christ, stop with the bedwetting.

    Here, care about this instead:

    NOAA Radiosonde Data Shows No Warming For 58 Years
    In their “hottest year ever” press briefing, NOAA included this graph, which stated that they have a 58 year long radiosonde temperature record. But they only showed the last 37 years in the graph.

    Here is why they are hiding the rest of the data. The earlier data showed as much pre-1979 cooling as the post-1979 warming….

    1. Oh they are well past the bedwetting stage, and have progressed to the feces-painting-the-walls stage.

      But what do you expect? It doesn’t take a competent ‘expert’ to recognize that much of Trump’s support is coming from people wholly fed up with the serial failures, abject worthlessness, and smug self confidence of all those so called experts.

      And while it remains to be seen if their support will result in a big payoff for Trump it is quite clear that it means dire things for all the experts.

  2. It has a number of provisions, including: allowing for the full deduction of individual health plans on tax returns, block granting Medicaid, requiring price transparency from all health care organizations, legalizing the re-importation of prescription drugs from other countries, allowing for tax-free contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and allowing individuals to purchase health care across state lines.

    Not all of these provisions are objectionable.

    Actually, I would say they are all incremental improvements. Wouldn’t you?

    But in no way does this grab bag of provisions constitute a coherent plan or system.

    After the catastrophic “coherent plan or system” that we are now living under, is this supposed to be a bad thing? Seriously, this reminds me of all the people who say that repealing the ACA isn’t a plan, because it doesn’t leave the federal government with its fingers in every pie.

    So what? If its not a Five Year Plan For Make Benefit of American Childrens, its garbage?

    Trump, then, is not just ignorant on policy details. He is willfully ignorant.

    I have no doubt. But what he has proposed is an improvement, as far as it goes. Isn’t it?

    1. Even in his failures Trump is better than the alternatives!

      1. OK, since this is a campaign, presumably other candidates have health care plans as well.

        What are they, and are they better or worse than Trump’s?

        Even when Reason attempts a policy article on Trump, it turns into another personal attack. Which may be justified, but fer fuck sake already.

        As noted on another thread: “Fuck you all for making me defend that human shit-stain, Trump”.

        1. Everything I can find about Ted’s plan just point out how he’s an inhumane monster… so he very well might have a better one.

          They seem to be pretty similar just by the few bullet points though.

        2. Thank you for not making me do it.

          While it would be better to eliminate tax breaks for employer plans, this is the next best way to level the playing field.

          Another step would be to allow me to choose between my employer plan and the cash equivalent.

          Reimportation of drugs is an incremental step toward preventing Canada from free riding on our drug development. Except what really happens is that Merck rations drugs to Canada and then Canada prevents export. Win win?

          1. I’m really hoping that Trump just opens our market to reimportation by *consumers*. US consumers can shop anywhere, and get the best price in the world.

        3. “OK, since this is a campaign, presumably other candidates have health care plans as well.”

          No proof, but I think Trump brings more views than his rivals, so greater spotlight on him makes sense.

        4. Not hard to “research”: https://www.donaldjtrump.com

          and go to (or concatenate URL, vs. character limit here)

          /positions/healthcare-reform

          Note that he’s not talking just reimportation, but: “Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products.” Suderman focuses on the reimport’n bit, but Trump’s calling for general deregul’n here, isn’t he? And he said the same ~25 yrs. ago.

          1. I thought his health care position on his website was about the best thing I’ve ever heard from the guy.

            Why is Sunderman bitching?

    2. Actually, I would say they are all incremental improvements. Wouldn’t you?

      Two of them don’t involve changes to current law, so no.

      1. He’s already said he wants to repeal PPACA, so…yes.

        1. That doesn’t make them “all incremental improvements.”

          1. Right. They’re vast improvements.

            1. And some of them are non-improvements.

    3. Well said. I am not a fan of Trump. But when I read his health care plan, my first thought was: decent, free market oriented and worth a shot. I am not sure what Suderman was expecting: a 2,000 page Obamacare-style document?

      And Suderman: you are misunderstanding Trump’s statement on HSAs. Contrary to your assertion, not everyone can contribute to an HSA today. Only those people with only high deductible insurance plans can do so. As a common example, if your employer gives you health insurance, and it doesn’t have a high deductible, then you cannot contribute to an HSA. As I understand Trump, he would allow everyone to contribute to an HSA and get the tax break. This is a good thing.

      1. I have both low-deductible employer provided PPO & an HSA, as do my parents. Perhaps you’ve mistaken the terms of a single policy as the legislative restrictions of all HSAs.

        1. There are restrictions to the use of HSAs. You can with some plans, and you can’t with others. Removing that restriction would be a *big* improvement.

          Trump wins again!

        2. How much is your deductible?

  3. But in no way does this grab bag of provisions constitute a coherent plan or system. There is no unifying theory behind these ideas, no policy framework to connect them.

    Ummm, you’ve just described the whole goddamn government to a T. How is what Trump’s proposing any less coherent or comprehensive than that of any random policy coming out of the Department of Agriculture, for example?

    1. Trump is worse because he’s against OPEN BORDERZ! He’s Da Debil!

  4. You know who else was skeptical of expertise? [saunters off briskly, whistling]

    1. Kramer?

    2. Your mom?

  5. “But in no way does this grab bag of provisions constitute a coherent plan or system.”

    Look at Reason, being all central-planner like and bashing free-market reforms.

    1. That jumped out to me too. And how is repealing PPACA and replacing it with these ideas not a great plan? It sounds good to me.

      1. Maybe, just maybe Suderman is the douche.

    2. I have to admit, that stuck out to me, as well. And I think Donald Trump is a douche.

      1. Everyone thinks Trump is a douche.

        But he’s a douche that is pissing off the Top Men. Maybe he’ll be worse than the ruling class that has been screwing us for decades. But I doubt it. I think he’s a douche that wants to be loved by the peasants. He’ll make decisions, some good, some bad.

        But he’s not one of the human ranchers that have been systematically sucking us dry for decades.

        Maybe it’s just the Moldbuggery in me, but I’m more worried about an apparatchik bureaucracy designed to rule than an old guy with small hands.

  6. Ordinarily I’d be annoyed over seeing back-to-back Trump articles, but today we also got articles on asset forfeiture, lawful concealed carry, shitty policing, French authoritarianism, 1st Amendment freedom-of-press issues, and gender equality. Not that I care overwhelmingly about all of those things, but still, a pretty well-rounded round-up.

  7. How many fucking plans and policies do I need to be able to buy a service from someone offering it? The idea of “healthcare policy” itself is a huge fucking joke.

    1. The ratchet moves only one way, my friend. First, the GOP was going to “repeal” Obamacare. Then the GOP said it was going to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Now the GOP is on the verge of choosing Trump. Cheers.

    2. This.

      It’s called retail health services. You know, like LASIK and plastic surgery. No insurance accepted, yet they are getting better and cheaper all the time.

      Market successes, if you will.

      1. Well sure it works for simple things like laser eye surgery or facial reconstruction, but there’s no way it would work on complex critical services like strep tests or an x-ray for a broken arm.

        1. there’s no way it would work on complex critical services like strep tests or an x-ray for a broken arm.

          I realize that you are being facetious but I know for a fact that this is not true. My daughter broke her arm a couple of years ago. We took her to the Surgery Center in OKC which has been the subject of a couple of reason articles. They list their prices online, and they were actually cheaper than what they quoted me. I did not have to wait, or starve my daughter to have her arm set. We showed up at the center around 2:00 pm. The fucking hospital wanted us to show up at 6:00am and would have had us sitting around for hours, no doubt. I paid with a credit card. I had a hernia operation there a few years before and my daughter had the same nurse that I had. The place rocks. Fuck socialized medicine to it’s literal death.

          1. You have no idea how happy this makes me.

            I need to find a place like this in Minneapolis.

            1. https://reason.com/blog/2012/11…..s-obamacar

              This is the place. Depending upon the service required, it might be worth your while to fly here and have something done.

              Here it is mentioned again.

              https://reason.com/archives/201…..nding-trap

          2. Yes, I was being facetious, but my child-broken-bone-story was partly the inspiration. Our youngest broke his toddler leg 2 years ago and we were able to take him to the local private clinic for x-rays and diagnosis but they wouldn’t or couldn’t provide the casting services. Had to take him to the ‘real’ doctor who sent us to an orthopod for the procedure. He gets re-xrayed (cost 3 times the price of the clinic xray) and set, all very helpful and good quality, but at mystery prices (they wouldn’t quote an actual price to us until we got the bill) which turned out to be a couple thousand dollars. I’m self-employed and we have a ‘healthshare’ plan since there are no good insurance options for us (we live in a semi-rural area) that are reasonably priced, so I’m quite familiar with the lack of transparency in the hospital game and all the run-around. Walk in clinics are great and it sounds like yours was more full-service which I wish we could find. In the sticks, we’re apparently a captive audience so there’s not enough competition.

          3. The fucking hospital wanted us to show up at 6:00am and would have had us sitting around for hours, no doubt.

            Yeah. Our customer service sucks. No question. Drives me crazy.

            Its because hospitals are mostly run for the convenience of doctors. Inside joke: The acronym for patients is “MBBUs” – Meat Based Billing Units.

            1. The very worst of all time was the birth of my first child. They decided that they needed to induce labor. The only minor issue was that there was supposedly only one person in the whole fucking hospital who could give my wife the epidural and they were busy in an operation for over two hours while she writhed in pain. I wanted to choke one of the doctors.

        2. OH my! You are so right. Can’t possibly work for actual medical like stuff. Has to be stopped before people get glasses and see dentists that way.

  8. Why does the “plan” have to be something other than “get your own fucking insurance”?

    1. Sorry, add to that “or don’t if you don’t fucking feel like it”.

    2. I can insure fucking?

      1. I want the Gold Plan!

  9. That’s one of the least shitty plans I’ve seen. I’m more worried about his plan to give slander laws some “teeth”. Sounds like curbing free speech but I don’t exactly know what he means.

    1. Giving slander laws some teeth means that “journalists” and “news” organizations don’t get any different treatment when being sued for slander/libel than your average citizen.
      The normal person can recover damages if they show that the subject of their suit knew, or reasonable should have known, that what they said, that harmed them, was not true.
      With a news organization, or if you are a “public figure” you have to include that there was some malicious intent in the making of the false statement – delve into their thought process, if you will.
      This has made successful suits against “news” organizations and “journalists” almost impossible, no matter how phony a story they put out against you.
      They also get to “protect” a source, which makes them able to put shit out there and claim someone else told them, but get away with not saying who that someone is, if they exist, at all.
      The First Amendment puts the freedom of speech in the same category as the freedom of the press. For the courts to have carved out this super-freedom has allowed too much complete bullshit to be published, with impunity.

      1. This has made successful suits against “news” organizations and “journalists” almost impossible, no matter how phony a story they put out against you.

        You are so wrong. Mark Steyn has been enduring a suit from the turd Michael Mann for over 4 years for a 285 word blog post!.

        Of course, the people at “Free Minds and Free Markets” have written almost nothing about it because they are actually nothing more than future Weigal hypocrites.

        http://www.nationalreview.com/…..mark-steyn

        1. Isn’t that from Canada?

          1. Nope, DC. Steyn beat the Canadian commissars.

        2. My understanding is that Steyb wants the case to go forward so that he can expose Mann for a lying fraudster.

          In contrast, zimmermans suit against NBC was dismissed because George supposedly became a public figure by being smeared by NBC and their intentional editing of video and audio tape did not evince ‘actual malice’.

        3. The two reasons that case has gone forward are:

          1. Mann is a global warmenist so is on the side of the angels
          2. Steyn wanted the legal fight in the first place and goaded Mann into bringing suit.

          Remove either of those elements and, under current law, it would be a nothingburger.

    1. Pvt. Joe Bowers: [addressing Congress]

      … And there was a time in this country, a long time ago, when reading wasn’t just for fags and neither was writing. People wrote books and movies, movies that had stories so you cared whose ass it was and why it was farting, and I believe that time can come again!

  10. We have to elect the candidate so that you can find out what is in his plan.

  11. Suderman repeats the Chris Wallace lie.

    Donald Trump never said Medicare could save $300 billion. He said Medicare could save billions by making their drug contracts more competitive AND that the COUNTRY spends $300 billion on drugs that it shouldn’t be. Look up the transcript to the Farmington, NH rally.

    Second Suderman/Chris Wallace lie: Medicare and Medicaid spend nearly $200 billion on drugs per year. CMS itself says so:

    https://blog.cms.gov/2015/12/21/ medicare-drug-spending-dashboard/

    So does the Washington Post:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/ news/wonk/wp/2015/12/22/ why-drug-spending-is-so-high-in-three-charts/

    So, Suderman, before you go popping off at the mouth about people who don’t know what they’re talking about, remove the beam from thine own eye.

    Also, repealing Obamacare and replacing it with these initiatives IS A PLAN, dummy. Just because it’s not 2500 pages of bureaucratese doesn’t mean it’s not a plan. And it’s a damn good one; a sure sight better than PPACA.

    Advice: move out of Washington and live somewhere real. The Bubble is cutting off circulation to your brain.

    1. Can someone do me a solid and remind me what reason’s html for links looks like? I’ve forgotten.

      1. Regular link tags a la HTML work.

      2. Just cut and paste the link in. Make sure it starts with “http” not “https“. That’s what I do, and it gets the link up. Not fancy embedded links, but whatev.

        1. Your problem up there is probably the “s”.

          try this:

          http://blog.cms.gov/2015/12/21…..dashboard/

          And, on preview, an extra space.

  12. Someday, the USA will have the misfortune of having a major party candidate who is a fascist, yet who is smart enough to fool not only the people, but the media and his/her Party as well. Someday we’ll be able to vote for a fascist who is smart enough is put a gloss of intellectualism and policy wonkishness over his/her true goal of power and control. Today is not that day.

    1. See last two presidential elections for actual occurrences. He has a pen and a phone, plus the IRS, Justice, Homeland, FTC, FDA, Energy and a few other things.

  13. I’m wondering what the biggest tragedy here is:

    1. A libertarian magazine bemoaning the lack of central planning in Trump’s proposal.

    2. Suderman mindlessly repeating Chris Wallace’s lie re: Medicare drug spending, when it took me all of five minutes to find the number is double what Lyin Pete said here.

    3. That the FedGov is responsible for 2/3rds of drug spending, and instead of focusing on that travesty, Lyin Pete decided to write another fact-free screed.

    I’m glad I didn’t donate this year. This is hot fucking garbage.

    1. Drug spending is about 10% of total health spend.

      Buying counterfeit drugs in Canada isn’t going to save our healthcare system.

      1. “Buying counterfeit drugs in Canada isn’t going to save our healthcare system.”

        And importing the price-controlled real drugs from Canada isn’t gonna help, either. Whatever Canada is doing for health care, don’t do it.

      2. Nobody said anything about counterfeit drugs.

      3. 10% is nothing to sneeze at. And it’s actually about 13-19 percent of federal health care spending. It’s all in the CMS trustees report. But I’m no fancy pants expert or anything.

    2. The biggest tragedy is that Bloomberg, WaPo nor Vox have given Suderman a weekly column yet (no, movie reviews don’t count).

    3. Sounds like you have a disdain for expertise

      1. Top Men need to decide what’s best for you. They’re experts. Why would anybody doubt them?

      2. I admit I am disdainful of all the expertise Suderman is fetishizing, because what has that gotten us?

    4. Lyin Pete

      I hear Daddy prefers the spelling “lyen.”

      1. Daddy loves me no matter what I do.

  14. TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP,
    Did I miss any of the Reason articles over the last several days?

    1. Yeah, some chick saved her dog from getting shot by a cop.

      The cop committed multiple felonies, and will suffer no consequences.

      So, good news. You can just smell that libertarian moment!

      1. The dog was gonna vote for Trump!

    2. There’s a piece about whores just above here.

      1. So I missed two…

  15. I dunno, the last time we tried to “rely on the advice of experts, putting them in a room and forcing them to come up with something that works” we got that weaselly fuck Jonathan Gruber and the “Affordable” Care Act. What makes you think this would be any different?

    Seems like Peter cares more about stroking his Trump Hateboner than entertaining the fact that some of his proposals are good ideas that libertarians have been bringing up for decades only to fall on deaf ears. It may only be in broken-clock fashion, and I’m no fan of Trump, but stuff like this and giving Grandpa Gulag a free pass because he makes acceptable-sounding noises once in a blue moon is exactly what makes gives Reason the impression of a lefty bias.

    The fact that he barely understands the plan beyond one talking point indicates that he very likely does have an adviser on the subject. Somebody who told him “don’t worry about the details, just talk about getting rid of state lines.”

    1. Trump advisor: “It’s gonna be great. It’s gonna be so terrific that people’s heads will spin.”

      1. It’ll be UUUUGE!

    2. Somebody who told him “don’t worry about the details, just talk about getting rid of state lines.”

      Which isn’t actually part of the plan.

  16. So it is more than a little bit odd that his plan says that “as long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state.” Trump’s plan manages to specifically negate the intended benefit of the provision he is proposing.

    Amazing.

    1. Well, there’s complete ambiguity about what means by “state requirements”. If he means, “if its legal to sell in one state, it should be legal to sell in all states”, then no, he doesn’t negate his own policy. If he means “you can’t sell anything in a state unless that state specifically approves”, that’s no change. There’s also a middle position “you can sell it unless it violates a provision of state law”.

      In context, I think he probably means the first, but its hard to tell.

      1. We won’t know what it means until we pass it.

        And probably not then either.

      2. I’m sure you give everything Hillary says such a charitable interpretation.

        1. Well, next time Reason posts an article on Hillary’s policy proposals, we’ll find out.

          Honestly, I do think the first interpretation is the most likely, based both on context and sentence structure. But its a mess, no doubt.

          1. Jesus Christ you are completely fucking pathetic.

  17. Calling this a “plan” is like finding a pantry cabinet that happens to have some yeast and flower in it and calling it bread.

    Making bread works better if you use “flour” instead of “flower”.

  18. Here are the provisions you’ve listed–

    Full deduction of individual health plans on tax returns

    Block granting Medicaid

    Requiring price transparency from all health care organizations

    Legalizing the re-importation of prescription drugs from other countries

    Allowing for tax-free contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

    Allowing individuals to purchase health care across state lines.

    In addition, I seem to remember something else about reining in the FDA.

    Every one of these provisions, from a libertarian standpoint, is a step in the right direction. There is NOTHING objectionable in this–and it dismantles the ACA bureaucracy on top of it.

    Why is anyone at Reason speaking against any part of this?

    If this is ‘incoherent garbage’, all I can say is more, please.

    1. They’re against it because Trump said it.

      That is all.

      1. Yep.

        Actually it looks like the best health care plan I’ve ever seen out of a relevant candidate.

        I hope he adds to price transparency that individual citizens always get the lowest price if they’re paying directly with HSA, credit, or cash.

    2. Two of the items on that list don’t involve steps in any direction because they are current law.

      1. Which two?

        I suspect the “purchasing health care across state lines” is a drafting error, and should be health insurance. But who knows?

        Health plans aren’t fully deductible today. Contributions to HSAs are usually deductible, to a point. So those would be pretty minor changes.

        1. HSAs. You can already do that. Don’t know what the other one is.

          1. You can only do HSAs with *some* plans. If he expands that to *all* plans, it’s a big step in the right direction.

  19. “It is not really a plan at all. Instead, it is a bunch of words somewhat related to health policy that his campaign is calling a plan.”

    And this is surprising… because?

    1. And this is surprising… because?

      Becuase it’s no different that way than anything from fiscal conservatives and libertarians. “Free market” soundbites and slogans.

  20. Wow, Trump sounds good on health care. His “grab bag” of proposals along with getting rid of that monstrosity known as Obama care would be a yuge improvement. Reason has finally convinced me that Trump might not be so bad.

  21. What? Trump’s healthcare “plan” is as useless as Cato or Reason? OMG.
    Medical Savings Accounts originated under Reagan. My family used its savings to pay for dental care, which was not in our employer plan. The original version allowed balances to be carries over from year-to-year. That part was repealed a few years later, thus destroying the incentive for saving, effectively removing skin in the game.

    Obamacare essentially passed by default, because fiscal conservatives also lack “expertise.”
    Medicare vouchers would increase competition … in the wrong market! (insurers), Can we control auto prices with more competition between Allstate and GEICO? (duh) , Selling across sate lines is just as wacky — also the wrong market.

    When Obamacare passed, Medicaid/Chip had a HIGHER uninsured rate (18.8%) than the private sector (16.3%), which Americans STILL never heard (nor libertarians). We spend more on government healthcare alone, for less than 40% of our population, then several “social welfare states” spend on their entire population.

    Sorry, but reading about a lack of healthcare expertise in Reason, is hysterical. But the bobbleheads will nod.

  22. This post needs more appeals to TOP MEN. Er… EXPERTS.

    DISCLAIMERS: Don’t make me defend Trump etc. etc.

  23. Jesus fucking Christ…

    117 Republican foreign policy experts just signed a harshly critical letter denouncing Trump as wildly inconsistent, fundamentally dishonest, and a danger to the Constitution

    I wonder if these are the same “experts” that had a hand in guiding the spectacularly successful foreign policy of previous Republican administrations.

    God this post is more weak sauce.

    DISCLAIMERS: Don’t make me defend Trump etc. etc.

    1. Here’s the link.

      http://warontherocks.com/2016/…..y-leaders/

      I looked up some of their bios, it’s the usual interventionist and security freak mob. It doesn’t make Trump right, but this outfit has been pretty uniformly catastrophically wrong.

      1. They do have some good drink recipes, though.

  24. I guess i don’t understand how much Pete is looking for in health policy. I dont think obama put the 2000 page obamacare bill on his web page

  25. Sounds like some pretty serious business to me dude. Wow.

    http://www.Anon-Net.tk

  26. Not to defend Trump (certainly!) but I get the HSA thing. HSAs are only available to people with HDHP coverage, which means a given individual may not have a choice to contribute to an HSA (like me). Of course you know this, but I think it’s worth pointing out that an HSA expansion would be very good, and it could be what Trump’s intent is (o not, because you know…Trump).

  27. Get government out of the health insurance business as much as possible. Limit them to limited regulations and financial support for health insurance to those who need it.

    Government is about half the health insurance market with Medicare, Medicaid and the VA.

    Obamacare, Medicaid, Medicare and VA hospitals should be phased out. People under these programs and those who are financially below the poverty level should be given a yearly amount that they could use to purchase health insurance.

    Keep the federal regulation stating that insurance companies have to cover pre-existing conditions as long as the person had previous insurance.
    Allow people to purchase insurance from any state. Deregulate state health insurance markets. Unhinge medical insurance from employers in the tax code.

    Getting government out and increasing competition in this way will lower health insurance costs. It cuts the bureaucracy costs, cuts the fraud costs and improves competition and quality of care.

    Why not do financial assistance for health insurance the same way we do financial assistance for food?

    1. “Get government out of the health insurance business as much as possible.”

      I’m sorry, that is simply not a ‘plan.’ Therefore the ‘libertarians’ at Reason cannot get behind such empty headed sloganeering.

  28. Well you’ll never accomplish anything with that attitude. Look at this author’s attitude. He sounds like a loser to me. If he were smarter and had a better attitude, he would be able to understand Trump’s very smart healthcare plan.

  29. Well you’ll never accomplish anything with that attitude. Look at this author’s attitude. He sounds like a loser to me. If he were smarter and had a better attitude, he would be able to understand Trump’s very smart healthcare plan.

    1. I really like using “not with that attitude you wont” as response to totally legit complaints (or just statements), i.e. “dude there’s no way we’re gonna drive from new york to florida in two hours” “not with that attitude we wont”. i dunno whether to be flattered or disturbed that trump’s doing it now.

  30. Trump has no plan!
    How can you be a top man,
    When you have no plan?

  31. Oh noes, Trump’s plan isn’t vetted by the Top Men!

  32. isnt this gonna get in the way of all the experts hes gonna hire?

  33. Trump may be willfully ignorant about health care policy and health insurance regulation, but I’m disappointed Suderman didn’t provide a link to his wonderful, comprehensive health care/health insurance plan – or the plan favored by most of the folks at Reason. I’ll look for it on the Reason site. Perhaps it’s good – but I doubt it.

    1. There is no comprehensive healthcare reform at any libertarian or conservative site (or the planet).
      Some individual reforms, like Medicare vouchers and selling across state lines, increase competition in the wrong market, insurers. Medicare has always had competition in the real market, providers, but seniors have no skin in the game.

      1. Vouchers are comprehensive reform; they’re a valid substitute for either the status quo or single payer. Though I suspect a single payer system is the only thing you actually consider ‘reform.’

        And you’re right about increasing competition in the wrong market; trouble is, every prog proposal as well has been centered on insurance. Progressive ‘reforms’ including single payer completely miss the obvious fact that healthcare costs are going up for a reason. Not just because of ‘teh greedy unsurance companyz.’ Labor costs (supply shortage of medical personnel),drug costs (thanks to the FDA and trade restrictions) and medical device costs (over-regulation) have gone up, and that has driven up healthcare costs. Fiddle around with who provides the insurance all you want, in the end, it does nothing to increase the supply of doctors, nurses, and drugs; and if you can’t increase supply, and you intend to force price cuts, then you will sure as the inevitability of death, end up rationing care. To posit otherwise is akin to denying the first law of thermodynamics.

        1. You’ve publicly humiliated yourself ?

          Vouchers are comprehensive reform; they’re a valid substitute for either the status quo or single payer. Though I suspect a single payer system is the only thing you actually consider ‘reform.’

          (lol) Umm, here’s the archive of my published writing. Read all my stuff on healthcare ? in the 90s — THEN wipe the egg off your face.

          http://libertyissues.com/archive.htm

          Can we control car prices with more competition between Allstate and GEICO?
          Medicare already has competition in the PROVIDER market, but seniors have no skin in the game. REAL free marketers have argued skin in the game for 50 years. Do you even know what it is?

          And you’re right about increasing competition in the wrong market; trouble is, every prog proposal as well has been centered on insurance.

          ItT’S OKAY FOR YOU TO FUCK UP BECAUSE PROGS FUCK UP . You say I’m single payer, then you AGREE WITH ME!

          I’ll ignore the rest of yourself-righteous babble. Do you know ANY of this:

          1) We spend more per capita on government healthcare, for less than 40% of our population, than total healthcare cost in Sweden, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

          2) Before Obamacare Medicaid expansion, the uninsured rate for Medicad eligibles was 18.8% vs 16.3% in the private market. That means more Medicaid eligibles died uninsured than in the private market.

          Anything else?

  34. Only been here a few times, but can already see this author has an axe to grind.

  35. Trump is willfully ignorant because he knows that the minute any candidate at this stage of the primary process lets herself be pinned down on specifics of issues, she starts to lose support and votes. What he’s doing is working for him … why should he let anyone else dictate his strategy to him?

  36. Well, Obama showed tremendous reverence for expertise and see where that got us.

    In addition, experts (like Gruber) showed complete disdain for the American people.

  37. It looks like even Suderman can’t actually bring himself to actually disagree with any of Trump’s proposals here. “Well, like, one of the proposals has already kinda been done before, so ha!”

    Really, though it may not constitute much of a plan, it is a modest list of sensible reforms; sure, would be better if they did away with employer deductions instead of expanding them, but still.

    The guy’s a piece of shit, but on this matter, surprisingly, his proposals seem better than most candidates.

    1. Who gives a shit what Mark thinks about healthcare, since he made a total fool of himself here:

      https://reason.com/blog/2016/03…..nt_5967798

  38. I’m sorry for being so slow about this, but I only figured it out last Sunday night, March 6th, at dinner…
    http://www.plusaf.com/letters/trump/trump01.htm

    Trump is (still) a Democrat, NOT a Republican. And, like most wealthy Democrats, (and as a seriously successful businessman,) he does NOT like Competition. Financial, economic or in the realm of Ideas.

    To me, he acts like someone who desperately needs better advisers in the area of Economics. His ‘solutions’ to the ‘problems’ he describes are as sure to fail as Bernie’s. Trade barriers like tariffs create trade wars between countries, to the detriment of citizens of both/all countries.

    The US is Post-Agrarian, Post-Manufacturing and after a brief trip through Technology, is poised at the brink of the Post-Technology stage: Service-Centric Economics. The two graphs on my link demonstrate the trend. China now ‘outsources’ or ‘offshores’ some Manufacturing to poorer countries, while Bernie and Donald fight last century’s battle to keep manufacturing inside the Mother Country. Futile, but appealing to people who can’t do any Critical Thinking any more.

    1. Continued…

      So the TWO remaining Republicans, as well as the RNC, have not yet awakened to the idea that they’re competing against THREE Democratic opponents: Bernie, Hillary and The Donald!

      And Democrats, Donald included, HATE competition in ANY area, whether it’s business’ direct competition or competition in the world of Ideas. Does anyone Else get the impression that The Donald does not Have or Use ANY ‘economic advisers’ any more than Bernie or Hillary believe in free-market capitalism?

      Once you see Trump’s aversion to Competition, lots of things make sense and fall into place.
      Take another look at what he’s been doing… throwing out crazy ideas that some dyed-in-the-wool Republican supporters will support, thus enraging and energizing the Opponents of those ‘wild and crazy things’! Thus, Trump’s crazy “Republican” ideas are energizing Democratic Opposition!

      Could George Soros architect such a strategy? I don’t know, but I’m really beginning to think there’s a LOT more going on behind the scenes this year than “Woof Blister’s” Situation Room will ever unmask for us.

      Good luck to us all…..

  39. TLDR Version: “Trump is totally winging it.”

    Got it.

  40. Trump’s is simple, which is all we need to solve the problem. The cost of health care is the reason for the rise in health insurance costs. Trump’s plan will lower the cost of health care, and in return, lower the cost of health insurance. You don’t need a big long 2000 page plan to solve the problem. In business, the simple solution is the right solution.

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