Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Healthcare question nags Trump

Healthcare question nags Trump

One school of thought says nothing can derail the Trump train. He’s going to win, and he’s going to carry a wave of “change” to Washington. Others say that will never happen. Too much baggage. Too much inexperience … too much Trump to actually win.

That question will be answered in November. But, between then and now, a re-energized and re-purposed Trump campaign has some questions that voters want answered. Chief among them, what will Trump really do about healthcare. He’s promised to repeal and replace Obamacare … but with what, supporters wonder. He’s mentioned universal coverage, and that seems in step with his populist message, but it’s also out of step with what his base really wants, a market-controlled healthcare system.

But that’s not the only question Trump – and Clinton – will have to answer when it comes to healthcare. According to one recent study – and it’s just one study – Trump’s plan would take insurance away from about 20 million people. Definitely not the “universal” coverage he has previously proposed. Meanwhile, the same study claims Clinton’s program will provide coverage for nine million people.

At this point, the current uninsured rate, according to the Associated Press, stands under nine percent, a “historic” low. Despite this particular metric for success, many people, especially small business owners and Americans who are having to cover the full cost of their insurance for the first time say the problem is a manifest failure. A “failure” that may not survive the next election.

It’s an issue that is certain to come up, repeatedly, in the next month of the campaign. While much of the talk to date has been about foreign policy and immigration, health care, and the courts are also big issues for voters. Reduced health care expenses touch folks directly in the bank account, a spot where all “dinner table politics” are firmly centered. People may care about a candidate’s views on ISIS, but when it comes down to it, they will often vote with their wallets. Which candidate has the plan that will help them most while taking the least?

The answer will likely come down to voter turnout. If the folks in danger of losing their insurance don’t know and don’t vote, it will help Trump. If they do, Clinton gets the nod.

David Milberg is an experienced investment banker who hails from NYC.

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