Part 2 – The professional political class continue to say candidate Donald J Trump is not conservative enough on his positions. Various voices proclaim ownership of some arbitrary defining litmus test – that apparently moves depending on the definition of the person making the proclamation.
… so let’s cut through the BS and take a look at the issues.
Part 1 reviewed the Trump Policies on: ♦ Immigration ♦ The Second Amendment ♦ Taxes ♦ Trade ♦ Energy Policy ♦ Education ♦ Military and ♦ Foreign Policy
So we continue exploring the Trump Doctrine with:
♦ Healthcare Policy – While Donald Trump has not laid out a formal Healthcare policy we are able to assemble the outline with a review of his 2015 verbal comments and proposals (interviews) regarding ObamaCare and Health Care Reform.
Candidate Trump has committed to a full repeal of ObamaCare with a replacement policy proposal consisting of patient-centered, market-based reform. Trump has outlined a desire to remove the state regulatory barriers on healthcare insurance exchanges allowing insurance companies to present an insurance product across state lines, a market-based approach.
Businesses and individuals would be able to purchase health insurance from any company regardless of origination state. All insurance companies would be able to compete for, and offer insurance coverage toward, the consumer and/or business in any state.
However, Trump has also proposed federal guidelines, rules, to ensure the financial solvency of any health insurance company. Any healthcare insurance provider would have to pass regulatory and compliance financial “stress tests” and retain financial reserves as established by federal regulatory agencies. A similar approval and regulatory program is currently in place for financial/banking services to eliminate risk.
Each insurance provider would also be required to pay a fee, into a federally controlled risk pool established in the event any single provider is unable to meet their policy obligations. The collection of these fees eliminates the risk of a taxpayer funded bailout if an insurance carrier becomes insolvent. This process also allows insurance regulators to keep the market flush with multiple competitive carriers eliminating a too big to fail monopoly by any individual carrier. (Think Hurricane Insurance Programs).
This market approach would open the health insurance markets to competitive pricing and allow consumers to tailor their coverage to their individual needs. The insurance product is offered by the insurance company, the individual has choices and options.
Low income healthcare coverage is continued through the use of the current Medicaid services program and is provided as a subsidy or voucher to the insured customer. In addition, Trump is open to “health savings accounts” so long as the account itself is controlled by the individual and catastrophic insurance coverage is included as part of the overall program.
Candidate Trump has also proposed retention of the mandated “pre-existing coverage” rule insuring that people cannot be denied entry into the market based on pre-existing conditions. However, unlike ObamaCare, Trump is also proposing “High Risk Pool” subsidy for those who have extensive and long-term medical issues.
The long-term medical coverage subsidy for high risk patients would be administered through the existing medicaid and medicare process; the difference becomes the amount of the subsidy which would be based on the individual or family income level, and extent of the coverage needed.
♦ On Veteran Healthcare (VA) – Donald Trump has recommended a complete overhaul of the Veterans Assistance programs. – Policy Outline HERE –
“Under a Trump Administration, all veterans eligible for VA health care can bring their veteran’s ID card to any doctor or care facility that accepts Medicare to get the care they need immediately. Our veterans have earned the freedom to choose better or more convenient care from the doctor and facility of their choice. The power to choose will stop the wait time backlogs and force the VA to improve and compete if the department wants to keep receiving veterans’ healthcare dollars. The VA will become more responsive to veterans, develop more efficient systems, and improve the quality of care because it will have no other choice”.
♦ On Social Security – Unlike many candidates Donald Trump is NOT calling for rapid or wholesale changes to the current Social Security program. With the single caveat of “high income retirees” (over $250k annually), which Trump is open to negotiating on, candidate Trump does not consider these programs as “entitlements”. The American people pay into them, and the federal government has an obligation to fulfill the promises made upon collection.
To fully understand how Donald Trump views the solvency of Social Security, you must understand his economic model and how it outlines growth.
The issue with Social Security, as viewed by Trump, is more of an issue with receipts and expenditures. If the aggregate U.S. economy is growing by a factor larger than the distribution needed to fulfill its obligations then no wholesale change on expenditure is needed. The focus needs to be on continued and successful economic growth.
What you will find in all of Donald Trump’s positions, is a paradigm shift he necessarily understands must take place in order to accomplish the long-term goals for the U.S. citizen as it relates to “entitlements” or “structural benefits”.
All other candidates are beginning their policy proposals with a fundamentally divergent perception of the U.S. economy. They are working with, and retaining the outlook of, a U.S. economy based on “services”; a service-based economic model.
While this economic path has been created by decades old U.S. policy, and is ultimately the only historical economic path now taught in school, Trump intends to change the course entirely. Because so many shifts -policy nudges- have taken place in the past several decades, few academics and even fewer MSM observers, are able to understand how to get off this path and chart a better course.
Candidate Trump is proposing less dependence on foreign companies for cheap goods, (the cornerstone of a service economy) and a return to a more balanced U.S. larger economic model where the manufacturing and production base can be re-established and competitive based on American entrepreneurship and innovation.
No other economy in the world innovates like the U.S.A, Trump sees this as a key advantage across all industry – including manufacturing.
The benefit of cheap overseas labor, which is considered a global market disadvantage for the U.S., is offset by utilizing innovation and energy independence.
The third highest variable cost of goods beyond raw materials first, labor second, is energy. If the U.S. energy sector is unleashed -and fully developed- the manufacturing price of any given product will allow for global trade competition even with higher U.S. wage prices.
In addition the U.S. has a key strategic advantage with raw manufacturing materials such as: iron ore, coal, steel, precious metals and vast mineral assets which are needed in most new modern era manufacturing. Trump proposes we stop selling these valuable national assets to countries we compete against – they belong to the American people, they should be used for the benefit of American citizens. Period.
EXAMPLE: Currently China buys and recycles our heavy (steel) and light (aluminum) metal products (for pennies on the original manufacturing dollar) and then uses those metals to reproduce manufactured goods for sale back to the U.S. – Donald Trump is proposing we do the manufacturing ourselves with the utilization of our own resources; and we use the leverage from any sales of these raw materials in our international trade agreements.
When you combine FULL resource development (in a modern era) with with the removal of over-burdensome regulatory and compliance systems, necessarily filled with enormous bureaucratic costs, Donald Trump feels we can lower the cost of production and be globally competitive. In essence, Trump changes the economic paradigm, and we no longer become a dependent nation relying on a service driven economy.
In addition, an unquantifiable benefit comes from investment, where the smart money play -to get increased return on investment- becomes putting capital INTO the U.S. economy, instead of purchasing foreign stocks.
With all of the above opportunities in mind, this is how we get on the pathway to rebuilding our national infrastructure. The demand for labor increases, and as a consequence so too does the U.S. wage rate which has been stagnant (or non-existent) for the past three decades.
As the wage rate increases, and as the economy expands, the governmental dependency model is reshaped and simultaneously receipts to the U.S. treasury improve. More money into the U.S Treasury and less dependence on welfare programs have a combined exponential impact. You gain a dollar, and have no need to spend a dollar. That is how the SSI and safety net programs are saved under President Trump.
When you elevate your economic thinking you begin to see that all of the “entitlements” or expenditures become more affordable with an economy that is fully functional. As the GDP of the U.S. expands, so does our ability to meet the growing need of the retiring U.S. worker. We stop thinking about how to best divide a limited economic pie, and begin thinking about how many more economic pies we can create.
Simply put, we begin to….
…..Make America Great Again !
Again, if that’s not a classic approach to being fiscally conservative and solvent, I don’t know what is…..
Part 3 will finish with social issues and known proposals to reduce size and scope of government.