Trump Sticks with Simple Obamacare Replacement at GOP Debate

Rubio and Trump at GOP Debate (David J. Phillip / Associated Press)
David J. Phillip / Associated Press

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump was hit from all sides at Thursday night’s GOP debate, but stood his ground when asked to elaborate on his simple plan to replace Obamacare.

Trump said that he would retain the requirement that insurance companies cover patients with pre-existing conditions, and that he would allow people to purchase insurance across state lines.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) mocked Trump for not having more to say, and CNN moderator Dana Bash asked Trump if he really had nothing more to add to the plan.

Yet Trump’s plan is essentially the backbone of a free-market alternative–coupled with a safety net that could be created easily using national high-risk pools.

The plan offered by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is barely more elaborate than that — nor should it be. If the Obamacare experience has taught America anything, it is the folly of complicated government plans.

In election after election, Democrats and the media attack Republicans for not having a “plan” — particularly on the economy. The idea that the federal government needs to run the economy — or large sections of it, like health care — according to a “plan” is a false liberal conceit, and one that conservative philosophy resists.

Rubio “So that’s the only part of the plan? Just the lines? Interstate competition?”

Trump gave a classic free-market answer: “You’ll have many different plans. You’ll have competition. You’ll have so many different plans.”

That does not cover every conservative criticism of Obamacare, or of the health care system. Trump could have added health savings accounts — an element from Cruz’s plan — or tort reform, a cause dear to Republicans.

“Is there anything else you would like to add to that?” Bash asked.

“No! There’s nothing to add. What’s to add?”

Just because the media, or an opponent, demands an elaborate plan, does not mean Republicans should feel compelled to offer one.

Last time, Mitt Romney had a 59-point plan for the economy.

How did that go?



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