In Saturday night’s ABC News/IJ Review Republican presidential debate, moderator Mary Katharine Ham pressed Donald Trump for specifics on his plan for healthcare, noting that on the Democratic side, while Hillary Clinton has been “doubling down on Obamacare,” her rival Senator Bernie Sanders favors replacing the law with a single-payer system.
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Since Trump, Ham asked, has said he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act but also that “everybody’s got to be covered” and “the government’s got to pay for it,” is it fair to characterize his plan as being closer to Bernie Sanders?
Trump recoiled at the question, insisting he’s “closer to common sense,” and saying he wants to repeal Obamacare, and “replace it with something so much better,” of which there are “so many examples.”
However, beyond a passing reference to health savings accounts, Trump neglected to point to any such examples or provide any specifics on his own “great” plan.
After veering to an entertaining jab at insurance company executives allegedly profiting off of the Affordable Care Act and dropping a (false) reference to himself as a “self-funder,” Trump finally hurtled into a hypothetical about the vulnerable poor.
There are, he said, “a certain number of people who will be on the street dying… we’re gonna take care of people that are dying on the street.”
Larger questions of social safety nets and government responsibility aside, it remains unclear just how Trump’s plan will be structured and what role a government under Trump would play in ensuring that no one goes without care.