Donald Trump’s Obamacare Replacement Plan: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Donald Trump, Donald Trump Barack Obama, Obama Trump handshake

Donald Trump and President Barack Obama on November 10. (Getty)

President-Elect Donald Trump has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act as soon as he gets in office, and with Republicans now holding the majority in both houses of Congress, this is likely to happen.

In addition, though, Trump has pledged to replace Obamacare with something better, as has House Speaker Paul Ryan. Neither has released a comprehensive plan, but they have still given us a pretty good idea of what a potential post-Obamacare world might look like. In general, Republicans wants to eliminate Obamacare’s health care exchanges entirely, rolling back regulations and giving individuals tax subsidies with which they can buy private insurance.

So what are the specifics of Trump’s plan? Does his plan align with that of Paul Ryan? And what will happen to the millions of Americans who have received coverage under the Affordable Care Act? Here’s what you need to know.

1. Allow Insurance Companies to Sell Across State Lines

Donald Trump drugs, Trump drug use, Donald Trump sniffing, sniffles, Donald Trump cocaine user, Trump Clinton debate

Donald Trump during the second presidential debate on October 9. (Getty)

Although Donald Trump did not provide many details about his Obamacare replacement plan during the campaign, one idea he was very consistent on was that he wanted insurance companies to be able to sell across state lines.

“You get rid of the lines, it brings in competition,” Trump said at a Republican debate in February. “So, instead of having one insurance company taking care of New York, or Texas, you’ll have many. They’ll compete, and it’ll be a beautiful thing.”

This is an idea also proposed by Paul Ryan in his policy agenda, “A Better Way.”

“Our plan allows you to purchase a plan licensed in another state, a step towards making the insurance market more competitive, and giving you the power to shop broadly for more affordable policies,” Ryan’s agenda says.

Insurance companies actually already can sell across state lines, but they have to adhere to the regulations of whatever state they are selling in. Under Trump and Ryan’s plan, companies would only have to adhere to the regulations of the state they’re located in. Republicans believe that giving insurance companies fewer regulations will lower costs and give consumers more options. Critics of this idea worry that insurance companies will all relocate to the state with the most lax regulations.

2. Eliminate the Individual Mandate

Donald Trump gives his supporters a thumbs up as he arrives for his campaign rally and prepares to begin his speech. (Getty)

Donald Trump gives his supporters a thumbs up as he arrives for his campaign rally and prepares to begin his speech. (Getty)

President-Elect Trump also wants to eliminate the individual mandate in his Obamacare replacement plan. This is the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that everyone must purchase health insurance or they will be fined. Trump, and most Congressional Republicans, do not believe that individuals should be forced by the federal government to buy a product from a private company.

“Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate,” Trump’s website reads. “No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.”

This individual mandate is also removed in the health care plan proposed by Paul Ryan.

Trump has flip-flopped in this issue, saying at a Republican debate in February that he wants to keep the individual mandate.

“Well, I like the mandate,” Trumps said. “I don’t want people dying on the streets.”

3. Insurance Companies Can’t Deny Coverage Because of Pre-existing Conditions

Donald Trump rally, Donald Trump speech, Donald Trump henderson

Donald Trump during a campaign rally in Henderson, Nevada. (Getty)

One aspect of the Affordable Care Act that Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans like, however, is that it ensures that insurance companies cannot deny patients coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Paul Ryan’s plan also involves maintaining this provision.

When asked during a recent 60 Minutes interview whether he would make sure companies still can’t deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, Trump said, “Yes. Because it happens to be one of the strongest assets.”

This was not a new development, and Trump said throughout the campaign that he would keep this intact.

Critics argue, however, that it’s not possible to keep the pre-existing conditions provision while also getting rid of the individual mandate as Trump has pledged. The individual mandate was added to Obamacare as sort of a trade-off to the pre-existing conditions clause, and it was meant to ensure a “death spiral” did not take place. In other words, if companies can’t deny coverage to anyone based on their health, and Americans don’t have to buy health insurance, they could simply wait until they become sick to get coverage. Therefore, a higher and higher percentage of the insurance marketplace would consist of sick people, and costs would skyrocket.

Trump does not think that this is the case, and he thinks an Obamacare replacement would be perfectly fine without having an individual mandate. When specifically asked during a Republican debate about the fact that insurance companies say that the pre-existing conditions clause must be offset with a mandate, Trump said that this isn’t true.

“I think they’re wrong 100%,” he said. “Look, the insurance companies take care of the politicians. The insurance companies are making an absolute fortune. Yes, they will keep preexisting conditions, and that would be a great thing.”

4. Tax Deductions & Health Savings Accounts

Donald Trump, Donald Trump Ohio, Donald Trump polls, Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump in Canton, Ohio on September 14. (Getty)

Another element of Trump’s Obamacare plan is to allow individuals to deduct the cost of their health care premiums from their personal tax returns.

“Businesses are allowed to take these deductions so why wouldn’t Congress allow individuals the same exemptions?” Trump’s proposal reads. “As we allow the free market to provide insurance coverage opportunities to companies and individuals, we must also make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance. We must review basic options for Medicaid and work with states to ensure that those who want healthcare coverage can have it.”

Trump also wants to put an increased focus on Health Savings Accounts, which are currently available to patients enrolled in high-deductible plans. Those plans traditionally have relatively low premiums, and so the idea is that the money that you might have spent on a high premium you instead will put into the HSA, which is not subject to federal income tax. The money rolls over year to year, and it can only be spent on qualified medical expenses.

The president-elect wants to expand access to these accounts, hoping to get young people using them.

“These plans should be particularly attractive to young people who are healthy and can afford high-deductible insurance plans,” his proposal reads. “These funds can be used by any member of a family without penalty.”

Trump hasn’t provided many specifics beyond that, but House Republicans are in agreement, and they want to increase the yearly HSA contribution limit. They also want to allow spouses to make contributions to the same HSA and expand HSA accessibility.

5. No Gap Between Repealing & Replacing

Donald Trump Akron, Donald Trump rally, Donald Trump Akron rally

Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Akron, Ohio. (Getty)

A major concern for a lot of people is the idea of Obamacare immediately being repealed, only for a replacement to come years down the line. President-Elect Trump has pledged that this will not happen.

Trump said on 60 Minutes, “No, we’re going to do it simultaneously. It’ll be just fine. We’re not going to have, like, a two-day period and we’re not going to have a two-year period where there’s nothing. It will be repealed and replaced.”

But Trump has pledged to repeal Obamacare on his first day in office, which is now just over two months away. Meanwhile, Congress does not seem anywhere close to agreeing on an Obamacare replacement bill.

Read more about Donald Trump and Melania in Spanish at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Moose Warwick

As an RN for years I saw the Greed in medicine that continues. I voted for Pres Obama last time per his Obamacare that is failing. I had a son on this he lost his job. Pay $450 a mo with a $6000 deductible. He said I cannot afford to get sick. Believe selling across state lines helps not really. Ala. has had Blue Cross only for years what could most do there. I tried here years ago when I left my job to retire with my husband we were on Cobra that kept getting higher . Then went to Blue Cross and my husband and I both were restricted for year on two previous illnesses so if we got sick not be covered. Look at the cost of being sick going to an ER the cost is horrible. We have here in Georgia many immigrants use our ER guess who pays? Why I backed Sen Bernie Sanders who was for a one pay and he got pushed aside per the DNC. Hillary was not going to fight for one pay she was backing Obamacare failure or not. Sad that such a very rich country we are the only in the world without a decent paying system. WHY NOT? Colorado just tried to fight for one and got voted down the insurance companies come in full board with ads paid for no matter the cost to defeat this? We as voters need to say stop this. Now Pres Trump will have to get someone to get into this and find a way to stop the bleed and the GREED? To take money for the sick most who do not plan on accidents or certain illnesses? Waiting to see what he honestly will do in spite of his billions.


I’m not sure I understand your story, Moose. So you live in Ala? or GA? You had COBRA? The most expensive insurance on the planet? COBRA is meant as a transition insurance, i.e., until you get your next job, not when you retire. That’s what your son should have been on until he finds a new employer. Why aren’t you on medicare with a supplement, like every other middle-class retired American? Do you really think Bernie would have been successful with his plan? Do you think Congress would have passed it, with the house and senate majority being Republican? I have to ask, Moose –where did you get your RN degree? I think your story is typical of people who rely on others, in this case the gov’t., to take care of you. I believe in helping those that can’t help themselves, including oppressed minorities. However, you, I take it your husband, and at some point soon your son, are all well within the ranks of not needing help. I’m only a single Legal Secretary, close to retirement and I have a few pensions, a robust 401(k) and a healthy SS benefit. It’s not the gov’t.’s job to make you smart. Sorry you’re having a rough patch.


Oh, yeah. One other thing, Moose. We live in a capitalist society in this country. Most of these other countries that “enjoy” gov’t. paid benefits like healthcare pay huge taxes. Their homes, apts., everything is gov’t. subsidized. They are taken care of like children. Is that what you want? Because there is no other way to pay for a really great healthcare plan, i.e., low deductibles, co-pays, monthly premiums, except from taxes. There is no way in a capitalist society that it will ever happen. That is why Obamacare doesn’t work and unless Trump comes up with a truly smart plan, he won’t do it either. Surely, you remember when Hillary Clinton tried to shove a healthcare package down our throats, while Bill Clinton was president. This country was founded on principles where we take care of ourselves. Liberty and justice for all. We (originally) left England to escape the tyranny and socialist society England was for thousands of years. They were still socialists when I was there in 1972. It will Oh, and BTW, I’m not Republican and didn’t vote for Donald Trump.

Discuss on Facebook