While Trump wholly reduced drug prices, he also put pushed many health related advancements— in fact, he put forward nearly every of idea that was considered ‘smart’ at that period, which people from both sides recognized as beneficial but ‘impossible to get passed’ due to the climate in congress.
See, when lobbyists are unable to get laws passed that benefit their pocket politician’s interests, the only ones left are the proposals that aren’t sponsored, and that’s exactly what happened during the Trump administration.
Trump took those non-sponsored proposals and started pushing them. He also pushed to begin addressing the real hard real-world issues like pre-existing conditions that the McCain Republicans had been purposely ignoring while claiming ‘muh free market’ rhetoric, which added gasoline to the Democrat party support by all those with underlying conditions.
Granted, health care is a giant, complicated and broken machine that’s been so Frankenstein-ed together by policy and government regulation for so many years, there really is no simple fix.
Notwithstanding Trump tackled some of the key issues in ways that would create room for more improvements. Here are a few of the BIG ones:
- Obamacare Mandated Tax Penalty. This was the worst aspect of Zerocare for individuals, who were forced to pay a huge penalty for not purchasing shitty insurance they didn’t want. The tax penalty was also the lynchpin for maintaining the whole scheme legally, and the key step to getting rid of it.
- Veteran’s Hospitals being able to fire shitty staff. Not only did this almost immediately improve quality of care for veterans, it opened an avenue for expanding the same methodology to other areas of public health care where a cadre of unaccountable bureaucrats ruin outcomes, like social security, state dept. run health initiatives, Medicare, and Medicaid.
- Tri-Care military health benefits forged a similar example on the insurance side, simplifying processes and expanding benefits to include dental.
- Right to Try. This was a proof of concept at the fringes that demonstrated a way to eliminate the differences of treatment options between rich and poor, and paved the way for many other possibilities that return some benefits of a free market to consumers of health care.
- Easing restrictions on types of insurance groups. Government enforced attachment of insurance to employment is one of the paths that led us into the health care mess. Trump worked to crack the restrictions on other groups of participants being able to access insurance, a step in the direction of one of the ways health care used to be paid for in the old days — again, towards a free market model.
- Hospital Public Price Listing. A huge way to eliminate the curse of middlemen interference that eliminates patient’s ability to predict prices, one of the ways they get trapped into situations that cause bankruptcy.
- Pharmaceutical price matching. You may not be aware that the U.S. market overpaying for pharmaceuticals is what allows the rest of the world to get those big “savings” they like to credit to “socialized medicine”. One of the mechanisms undergirding this was disallowing Medicare/Veterans care to use those other nation’s prices as reference points for negotiation/setting payments. Trump’s action was set to DRASTICALLY lower prescription medicine costs, and, again, worked towards free market principles.
- Pre-existing conditions. This was a problem point that is abused by insurance companies and leveraged in a “blame the victim” manner by faux ‘free market’ Republicans in order to stall and gridlock reform. Trump rejected their theoretical libertarian arguments and forced practical real-world compromises that can actually be implemented.
- CCP Virus response and Vaccine. Trump demonstrated by action the way that the U.S. private industry could accomplish ‘miracles’ compared to the big government approach, as he bypassed World Health and Federal Health officials who literally failed EVERYTHING they were tasked to do. Whether the Vaccine is worth taking or not, bringing it to ‘market’ was a huge achievement and along with working tests and ventilators, proved the power of our medical system compared to the rest of the worlds’.
Cancelling Obamacare — Trump took steps to get rid of Obamacare altogether. Turns out that when you actually describe what Obamacare really is, people DON’T like it at all. People like the idea of free stuff and people getting healthcare that doesn’t bankrupt them. To the degree they erroneously associate that with “Obamacare”, they think they like it. Of course, who doesn’t like “free stuff”? Everyone likes their fantasy idea of Vegas too — because they don’t imagine themselves losing. Presented with actual odds, without the fairytale marketing, they like having money a lot more than losing it.
And Obamacare was a cascading failure that never worked, and just like his manufactured border crisis, was designed to fail into a crisis where Socialized medicine could be the only “solution”. The details of both Obamacare’s structural disaster and the misconceptions surrounding “socialized medicine” are many, but beyond the scope of this comment — here’s a non-comprehensive starting point to explore the subject:
People try to accuse Trump of ‘muh no plan to replace Obamacare’. But in reality, Trump smartly timed a rollout of his new plan to after the election, a step he took precisely to improve its chances of success and avoid the Obamacare Repeal failure that Republicans in Congress (Traitors, actually) delivered. Yet if you were paying attention, he DID outline it, in speeches, in releases to the press, and by the example of his executive actions.