On Thursday, the Republican Senate released its plan to overhaul America's health care system
The bill doesn't quite align with the promises Trump made on the campaign trail
President Donald Trump has made some grand promises on health care.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this week revealed Senate’s long-awaited plan to reshape America’s health care system – the fruit of many weeks of work entirely behind closed doors by a group of 13 Republican senators that were selected by the majority leader.
Trump has already thrown his weight behind the plan, tweeting: “I am very supportive of the Senate #HealthcareBill. Look forward to making it really special!”
As the Senate is expected to vote on the latest iteration of the GOP plan next week, we’re tracking what Trump has promised when it comes to health care, from the campaign trail to the Oval Office.
What the bill does
While the Senate bill’s passage could help fulfill Trump’s promise to repeal and replace Obamacare and cut taxes, it would also break a host of promises he made to Americans on health care.
The Senate bill would make sweeping cuts to Medicaid, get rid of the individual mandate, and eliminate Obamacare’s taxes on the wealthy and insurers. It would also prevent federal funds from reimbursing Planned Parenthood for any health services it provides.
The plan’s effects will become more clear when the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) releases its analysis of the bill early next week.
Promise: Health care for all
Trump repeatedly promised that he would cover all Americans when given the chance to repeal and replace Obamacare. He stated that coverage for everyone was “just human decency” back in February of 2016.
By then, he had already promised universal coverage. When he was a presidential candidate in 2015, Trump told CBS’s Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes that “everybody’s got to be covered.” He conceded that it may be an “un-Republican” thing to say, but he wanted to ensure that everyone had quality health care.
“I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not,” Trump said. He added: “The government’s gonna pay for it.”
More recently, as president-elect, Trump reiterated his support for the idea in January.
“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” he said in an interview with The Washington Post. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.”
While we don’t yet have an analysis of the Senate’s plan, it is clear that if signed into law, the bill would fall well short of Trump’s broad promises to insure everyone. According to the CBO, under the House bill that passed in May – which is similar to the Senate bill – 23 million Americans who already have insurance would lose their coverage within a decade.
Promise: Leave Medicaid alone
Trump isn’t one for wonky policy details. He often makes vague pronouncements on issues like health care. In May, for example, he tweeted, “Despite what you hear in the press, health care is coming along great. We are talking to many groups and it will end in a beautiful picture!”
One specific thing Trump has been clear on, however, is Medicaid. He has been consistent in voicing his opposition to any cuts to the program, which helps to provide coverage to low-income Americans. On the campaign trail, he often touted his promise to not touch Medicaid.
In October 2015, he tweeted, “I am going to save Medicare and Medicaid, (Dr. Ben) Carson wants to abolish, and failing candidate Gov. John Kasich doesn’t have a clue - weak!”
The statement was just one of Trump’s handful of tweets on the subject.
The Senate GOP plan would certainly break Trump’s promise to lay off Medicaid. It makes make deep cuts to the program, ending its expansion under Obamacare and capping future payments.
Promise: Lower costs
Another key promise Trump repeatedly has made is that his health plan will lower costs. In January, for example, President-elect Trump told the Post that his plan would include “lower numbers, much lower deductibles.”
But if the analysis of the Senate bill is similar the House bill’s, this promise might also be broken. The CBO found that while the House bill would decrease health care premiums for healthier, younger Americans, it could drastically increases costs for sicker, older citizens.
Promise: Repealing and replacing Obamacare
If the Senate bill passes, it keeps alive the possibility of repealing Obamacare.
The bill would repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate, drastically cut back federal support of Medicaid, and eliminate Obamacare’s taxes on the wealthy, insurers and others – which would be one promise kept.