Vox – A key Trump friend and ally is urging the president to dump Paul Ryan’s Affordable Health Care Act and embrace something that sounds sort of like a lightweight version of a single-payer health care system. Christopher Ruddy, CEO of the conservative Newsmax brand, isn’t normally considered a major thought leader on policy issues, but he is a longtime friend of Trump’s, and counts as one of a relatively small number of conservative players who have closer ties to Trump than to congressional Republican leaders.
And he is warning loud and clear that Trump “could inherit the bad political baggage of both Obamacare and the House Republicans” if he insists on going along with Ryan’s version of repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Instead, Ruddy puts forward the rather radical notion that Trump should attempt to live up to his campaign promises on health care rather than signing on to legislation that betrays them all. To do it, he encourages Trump to ditch his effort to court the Freedom Caucus and instead come up with a bipartisan plan that accepts a large government role in providing insurance coverage.
WHOA! Finally. A sensible conservative voice who has El Presidente’s ear?
In an op-ed published Tuesday, Ruddy argues that Trump “should be sticking to his own gut on healthcare reform.” He did this during the campaign, which helped him “win Democratic states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.”
And he offers the following seven-point “game plan for Trump to regain the initiative”:
- Ditch the Freedom Caucus and the handful of Senate Republicans who want a complete repeal of Obamacare. They don’t agree with universal coverage and will never be placated.
- Find a few parts of Ryancare II [i.e., the AHCA; Ryancare I refers to Paul Ryan’s longstanding desire to privatize Medicare] that can win passage in the House and Senate with either GOP support or bipartisan support. Declare victory.
- Rekindle the bipartisanship in Congress that President Obama destroyed. Impanel a bipartisan committee to report back by year’s end with a feasible plan to fix Obamacare.
- Reject the phony private health insurance market as the panacea. Look to an upgraded Medicaid system to become the country’s blanket insurer for the uninsured.
- Tie Medicaid funding to states with the requirement that each pass legislation to allow for a truly nationwide health care market.
- Get Democrats to agree to modest tort reform to help lower medical costs.
- While bolstering Medicare and improving Medicaid, get Republicans and Democrats to back the long-term fix of health savings accounts. This allows individuals to fund their own health care and even profit from it.
As a pure political strategy, the key elements here are probably the first three points. A commission probably won’t lead to any major changes, but that’s okay. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Affordable Care Act exchanges will probably stabilize in the next year or two even if nothing changes. Trump can do nothing and fix it.
But steps 4 through 7 do suggest a route to a possible future vision of American health care.
There’s more so do CONTINUE READING.