Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate once again pledged to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act if elected and emphasized plans to allow insurance to be sold across state lines and block grant Medicaid to the states.
At a campaign rally outside Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, Trump also said he would want to see his primary opponent neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson as a major part of his administration.
On the first day of open enrollment in ACA marketplaces for 2017, Trump and his surrogates blasted rising premiums and fewer plan choices. They also said the law has slowed hiring and job-making, although data does not reflect this.
Trump said he had “detailed solutions” but only repeated talking points his campaign has touted, including increased access to health savings accounts. This, along with selling insurance across state lines and block granting Medicaid, have little evidence of success in reducing costs or improving coverage or healthcare quality.
Trump said he would repeal the ACA immediately if elected. He said he would ask for a special session, but Congress is already scheduled to be in regular session at the beginning of the next administration.
“We will do it and we will do it very, very quickly. It is a catastrophe,” Trump said.
Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, cited his state's participation in Medicaid expansion under the ACA as an example of the need to give more control to the states, without acknowledging the contradiction.
Pence said a Trump administration healthcare plan would rely on the free market and emphasize patient choice.
“States know what's best for their people,” he said.