President Donald Trump has a golden opportunity to introduce his own health care policy, now that both moderate and conservative Republicans have failed to push their own policies through, and Obamacare continues to collapse.
The “Trump Option” could be a system where the government covers basic health care for all — a yearly checkup, immunizations, emergencies, and minor medical expenses — and optional private insurance covers everything else.
That would be the inverse of the “catastrophic” plan described by Breitbart News earlier this year, under which the government would cover major, unforeseen medical expenses but leave basic health care to the private insurance market. Insurance companies would be more enthusiastic about participating in the “Trump Option,” because the real profits in health insurance are in covering bigger medical risks, not in covering everyday medical needs.
A version of the “Trump Option” already exists in the real world. In Australia, the government provides free care in public hospitals, and subsidizes a portion of private health care, with private insurance making up the difference.
Providing basic health care coverage for all would be simpler and less expensive than Obamacare, and would allow the free market to flourish, outside the ordinary expenditures that provide low margins for insurance companies anyway. It would also fulfill the promise that President-elect Trump made in January to replace Obamacare with “insurance for everybody.”