Health

Trump’s Health Care Policy Trumps Hillary’s

Refresh yourself on this superior policy platform — the price factor alone is worth attention

Look no further than health care reform if you still need a reason to vote for Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee for the presidency — and as you watch the first presidential debate on Monday night.

Obamacare is ripe for repeal. Not only have health insurance premiums risen 196 percent since 1999 — wages have grown only 50 percent during that same time period.

The Affordable Care Act poses serious threats to religious liberty by forcing companies to support contraception against their beliefs.

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For the first time ever, average family premiums have hit $16,000 — not counting copays and deductibles. The Affordable Care Act poses serious threats to religious liberty by forcing companies to support contraception against their beliefs. Not to mention the staggering $1.34 trillion the ACA will cost in the coming decade. Yet Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, wants to build on and even expand Obamacare.

Here are four reasons Trump’s health care plan will provide consumers with significantly better options.

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1.) Insurance Available Across State Lines
You can get spinach from California, oranges from Florida, and cheese from Wisconsin. Why can’t you get access to the cheaper health care plans available in other states, such as Utah and Colorado? Right now you can get information about cheaper health care plans, but you’re forced to follow the “look, but don’t touch” rule. State governments vary considerably in what they require insurance companies to cover — and this understandably results in price fluctuations.

Related: The Wisdom of Trump’s Elder Care Plan

“Benefits that are mandated in some states, such as drug rehab or acupuncture, may raise the cost of plans by 30 to 50 percent, and are controversial. Consumers in states where these are mandatory may not want to pay for these unwanted benefits, while consumers in neighboring states may be unable to obtain these benefits at all,” said Brittany La Couture, a health policy advocate at the American Action Forum.

Only two states, Maryland and West Virginia, have any restrictions on how much hospitals can charge for their services.

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Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that interstate insurance sales “would lead to about 1 million people leaving the employer-sponsored insurance market in favor of cheaper or more comprehensive out-of-state plans,” said La Couture.

2.) Transparency in Prices
Only two states, Maryland and West Virginia, have any restrictions on how much hospitals can charge for their services. On average, hospitals nationwide charge their patients 3.5 times the actual cost of procedures. For-profit hospitals systems are especially notorious.

Patients right now have no way to do a price comparison between hospitals. But having transparency on this would increase patients’ autonomy in how and where they receive medical attention. Some websites offer price averages, but the veil over individual hospital prices is still firmly in its place.

Related: Why Health Care Needs a Reboot

One study published last year in Health Affairs found hospitals are more likely to prey on the most vulnerable patients. The patients received “exceptionally high medical bills, which often leads to personal bankruptcy or the avoidance of needed medical services,” according to study authors.

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3.) Open Borders on Prescription Drug Market
Prescription drug costs rose 12.6 percent in 2014 alone, and they’re expected to rise another 7 percent this year. Pharmaceutical companies benefit from a lack of competition in the U.S. and drive their prices up to profit off the life-and-death need of their customers.

The EpiPen is just one well-documented example.

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Another is a lesser known drug, Daraprim, which cures a lethal ailment common in AIDS and cancer patients. In recent years, the cost of Daraprim rose 5,000 percent, from $13.50 to $750 per pill. But a generic version of the pill is available for 10 cents in India and 2 cents in Brazil.

This doesn’t mean dangerous prescriptions will suddenly become available on Amazon or Craigslist. It simply means companies that operate in countries with strict licensing and regulations will also be able to sell their products in the U.S. And the cost of importing medicine can easily be covered in the 10 cents to $750 gap. There’s no question this move would drive down drug costs.

4.) Welfare Spending Eliminated for Illegal Immigrants
An estimated 49 percent of legal immigrant households make extensive use of welfare programs, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. Similar statistics are difficult to come by for illegal immigrants. But the Federation for American Immigration Reform reported that $10.8 billion went to pay for health care and food programs for illegal immigrants and their children in 2009.

Related: Your Health Care, Illegally Funded

The Center for Immigration Studies has said that widespread access to welfare allows immigrants to sidestep commonsense restrictions. “There are numerous exceptions and exemptions, and some provisions are entirely unenforced.”

“If we were to simply enforce the current immigration laws and restrict the unbridled granting of visas to this country, we could relieve health care cost pressures on state and local governments,” according to the Trump campaign.

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