Where Does Donald Trump Stand on Medicare?
By Emily Gurnon, Next Avenue
Donald Trump: The GOP platform advocates a “premium support model” for Medicare that would “guarantee to every enrollee an income-adjusted contribution toward a plan of their choice, with catastrophic protection.” In other words, privatization. Republicans would “save Medicare by modernizing it,” the platform says.
But Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen on June 20 quoted Trump as saying, during the primaries, “Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid. And we can’t do that. And it’s not fair to the people that have been paying in for years.”
“Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social
Chief Trump policy adviser Sam Clovis, however, said in May that a Trump administration would consider trimming Medicare benefits, according to the Wall Street Journal. “After the administration has been in place, then we will start to take a look at all of the programs, including entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare,” Clovis reportedly said. “We’ll start taking a hard look at those to start seeing what we can do in a bipartisan way.”
Prescription Drug Costs
Total U.S. prescription drug sales in 2015 were more than $419.4 billion — 11.7% higher than in 2014, according to research published in May in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. You don’t have to tell that to American consumers, especially older adults, who are dealing with rising prescription drug costs. A 2015 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll found that three-quarters of Americans believe prescription costs are unreasonable.
Donald Trump: He stunned Republicans by calling in January for Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, joining Clinton and Bernie Sanders in that proposal. Trump said it hasn’t been done thus far because politicians are beholden to pharmaceutical industry donations. But with his negotiation skills, he could accomplish it, he said, claiming this change would save billions of dollars. (Current law doesn’t allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies.)
Like Clinton, Trump has also called for a change in U.S. law to allow importation of drugs from foreign countries, including Canada, to save Americans money. One big problem with that idea: Critics say there is no way to guarantee that the drugs aren’t counterfeit or contaminated.