Friday, March 4, 2016

The Left Will Hate Trump's Health Reform Plan

The Donald Trump campaign just released its HEALTHCARE REFORM TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. Trump’s reforms completely repeal ObamaCare, and move healthcare toward a freer market.

Trump correctly observes that “it is not enough to simply repeal ObamaCare. He offers several reforms that could have and should have been done instead of ObamaCare. But he acknowledges that more reforms will be necessary.

TPM Daybreaker posted an article, Donald Trump Releases Health Care Plan To Replace Obamacare. I left these comments:

At first glance, the Trump plan has two very good reforms that.

First, it solves the main cause of the “problem of pre-existing conditions”—tax policy that rigs the market in favor of employer-based health insurance—by equalizing tax structure for business and individuals, thus opening up a vibrant individual health insurance market that will lead to health insurance being as portable as auto, life, and homeowners insurance. And it will attack the high cost of insurance by knocking down inter-state trade barriers to true, national competition among insurers (a power that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution gives to Congress). Both problems are the result of prior government market interventions, and which ObamaCare disingenuously sought to “fix” by piling on more government controls, rather than repealing the prior controls.

The Left will hate this program, because it leads to less government control and more individual self-reliance. The only kind of “plan” the Left will accept is one that empowers government masterminds and forbids individuals from planning for their own healthcare. If less government control and more individual self-reliance is what Trump means by “make America great again,” it’s a good sign.


It’s not all good. For example, on drugs, Trump calls for lifting restrictions on importation of drugs approved in other countries. On the face of it, that sounds good. But will foreign price controls also be imported? Then Trump says, “Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service.” The same can be said of any company open to the public. This very statist viewpoint could pave the way for even much more control of drug companies, making them more  like electric utility companies. In the background always lurks Trump’s authoritarian “instinct.”

All in all—and again, at first glance—Trump’s reforms begin to redirect America toward more self-reliance and less control government dependence. Will the reforms get political traction? After all, Republicans have been advocating most of these free market reforms for quite a while, but to little avail.

A lot will depend on how it is marketed to voters. It must be marketed properly to succeed. I suggest Republicans simply lay out the basic choice America faces at this juncture in history. The regulatory welfare state has expanded relentlessly since 2001, so that we are now somewhere in the vicinity of a turning point. America has come to the point where the basic choice Americans face is, a nation of self-reliance or a nation of dependence.

Related Reading:

No Free Market Health Reform Will "Work"—by Socialist Standards


Mike Kevitt said...

'America' (I prefer to say, the U.S.) is now a nation of demographics, de facto, by majority preference, not a nation of individuals. De facto, some are 'better' than others [just GUESS who are which, and which is in the majority, and just GUESS what that majority is (what the 'better' consists of) by majority vote]. There's no WAY to market any WAY of self reliance in this country anymore. As for self reliance as such, 'marketing' that is a waste of ones time and effort, by deceiving oneself into thinking it's marketable to a lunatic majority of adults of voting age. Don't bother. Basic, fundamental, RADICAL action from OUTSIDE the de facto system, aimed at future electoral and legislative results (in many respects dependent and independent on each other) is needed. We can't keep calling a spade half of a spade.

Michael A. LaFerrara said...


I share your frustration. It's depressing—and we're losing. But we've got to articulate the right philosophic principles, nonetheless. Trump at least gives us an opening to introduce the parameters of the fundamental debate.