Donald Trump’s healthcare plan continues to have people talking, while others want more details.
Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, past director for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), says Trump’s proposed healthcare plan contains several very good points, beginning with a repeal of ObamaCare.
“Other elements of his plan are similar components that the AAPS has actually been pushing for many years to give patients more control, give them more flexibility and lower their cost,” says Vliet.
“The examples of the patient-centered reforms that would lower costs are to couple individually owned health savings accounts [HSAs] with true, catastrophic medical insurance that would cover serious illness, hospitalizations – and that would then be a policy with a high deductible where patients use their HSAs to cover the cost up to the deductible. That allows lower premiums for the health insurance.”
Vliet adds that HSAs would give patients the flexibility and freedom to spend their healthcare dollars in their HSAs.
“What many people don’t realize is that the combination of catastrophic medical insurance with HSAs has been used effectively in the United States prior to ObamaCare to give patient-centered approaches at lower cost,” Vliet explains. “Under ObamaCare, the Democrats reduced the amount of money that the patients could contribute to their own HSAs and reduced what people could use their HSAs to purchase.”
Vliet also likes Trump’s proposal to allow consumers to buy insurance plans across state lines, something many center-right individuals and organizations have been pushing for years.
“If patients could buy a policy in Mississippi, Alabama or Texas, where the mandated coverage is less [than what other states require] and patients have more flexibility, then they would be spending less money per month on their health care policies,” she adds.
Still, some individuals on the center-right side of things want Trump to offer more details. Yevgeniy Feyman, fellow for and deputy director with the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress, calls it a non-plan.
“It’s cobbled together a few, conservative ideas like HSAs and selling insurance across state lines with some arguably liberal ideas,” says Feyman. “HSAs already exist, [and] Trump makes no indication as to what he would actually do with HSAs.”
Feyman is also of the opinion that selling insurance across state lines wouldn’t change how much insurance costs. “The rest of it is just rhetoric,” he adds. “It’s designed to appeal to his base.”
If Trump is really serious about making HSAs work effectively for patients, Vliet says he would “eliminate the ObamaCare restrictions on HSAs.” Vliet says Trump should also expand the options of how funds can be used for healthcare-related purchases.
“AAPS is not endorsing any particular presidential candidate,” says Vliet. “I’m a past member of the board of directors and we are doing an analysis of the proposals of the different candidates to say what fits with things that we feel would best help patients and improve the delivery of health services as well as lower the cost.”