Media distorts Trump's words on Obamacare repeal, provides no context

By Marc Nozell from Merrimack, New Hampshire, USA - 20160208-DSC08296, CC BY 2.0

Yes, Trump is still proposing the repeal of Obamacare. GOP has always proposed keeping the two most popular provisions.

Trump will propose market-oriented solutions

TV and radio journalists breathlessly repeated the claim that Trump is considering keeping big portions of Obamacare rather than repealing the law in full. As one might expect, some callers to talk radio took the bait, but most seemed to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Perhaps this might have been news five years ago when the GOP was first proposing to repeal the law. Since that time, every Republican proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has retained its two most popular provisions.

Namely, the requirement on insurers to accept those with pre-existing conditions and the option for young people to remain on their parents' healthcare plan until age twenty-six.

With respect to pre-existing conditions, the GOP has proposed more "targeted, fair and sustainable" methods for achieving the goal. The market-based proposal would protect any health insurance consumer with a pre-existing condition by guaranteeing acceptance into an insurance plan so long as the individual remains continuously covered.

The proposal would make buying insurance affordable for all by allowing a tax credit for those

who cannot afford it, which is a payment to the individual regardless of whether that person has paid taxes or not. Self-employed people would also receive a tax credit. In addition to the tax credit, small businesses could band together to increase buying power, putting them on par with large corporations.

Medicaid would be reformed in that states would be granted more latitude to do what is necessary to cover their populations. Medicaid faces a crisis because half of all healthcare providers no longer accept it. Reducing restrictions on states would likely give them the flexibility they need to save the Medicaid system.

GOP proposals also retain the option for young people to remain on their parents' healthcare plans until age twenty-six. The plans could be individual plans or through an employer.

Democrats and liberal journalists criticize the GOP proposals that Trump will likely adopt as "necessarily less generous and less comprehensive than the ACA." They accuse Republicans of lying about their proposals. These opponents to the GOP proposals assert that requiring the consumer to maintain continuous coverage undermines the guarantee of coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.

Requiring any element of responsibility on the part of the consumer, even when the GOP proposes giving people money to pay for it through a tax credit, is too great a burden for American citizens to bear in the minds of Democrats.

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