President Elect of the United States Donald Trump made waves this weekend when he announced that “we’re going to have insurance for everybody.” After analyzing the spin from Trump’s surrogates, the talking point from the transition team seems to be “insurance for everybody”.
What does this mean?
The honest answer is: we do not know. Traditionally, Republican plans for healthcare utilize subsidies to create safety nets for people to obtain coverage. But with Trump’s new headline—“insurance for everybody”—the lines between what was considered traditionally Republican and traditionally Democrat are blurred.
Trump further clarified that he does not want a “single-payer” system, which according to the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), means a “system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health care financing, but the delivery of care remains largely in private hands”. Countries like the United Kingdom and Japan employ a single-payer system.
If not single-payer, then?
The system Trump seems to hint towards in his most recent comments point towards universal healthcare, but there are multiple avenues to the same destination. Apart from single-payer, countries can implement an insurance mandate (similar to the mandate put into place by the ACA) and a two-tier system.
An insurance mandate describes a healthcare system in which the government mandates that all citizens purchase insurance. The individual mandate put forward by the ACA operates on this modus-operandi. Countries like Switzerland and Germany use an insurance mandate.
A two-tier system, like in Israel and Singapore, entails the government providing or mandating catastrophic or minimum insurance coverage for all residents, while allowing the purchase of voluntary insurance.
What Happens Next?
We are still awaiting the revelation of the Republican replacement plan. If Trump is pushing for “insurance for everybody”, the likelihood that the system will look like one of three aforementioned options (single-payer, two-tier, or an insurance mandate) is very high.
But as with many things in the recent past, we can never predict what will happen next! Golden Benchmark will continue to monitor the situation and report back as developments arise.
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