Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is standing by his past support for universal health care.
"I want people taken care of in the country, okay? You can call it anything you want, but I want -- including people that don't have anything," The Donald told radio host John Fredericks in an interview Wednesday. "We gotta do that."
Trump said in 1999 -- when he was flirting with a presidential rub on the Reform Party ticket -- that the U.S. should make health care an entitlement and that coverage should be universal.
"I would put forward a comprehensive health care program and fund it with an increase in corporate taxes," Trump said at the time.
Trump said as president he was going to get people good plans that would have low costs.
"You know, I'm a very conservative guy, I'm Republican, I'm -- number one, the people that can do it, we're gonna get them plans that are so good, and we're gonna break the borders, we're gonna go, you know, the private plans," he stated.
"You know, a lot of people had plans they loved, before Obamacare came along. You probably did. I have friends that had really good plans -- now they have horrible plans, and they're paying five times more for them. We're gonna get great plans, we're not gonna have huge costs. The biggest thing the government has to do is make sure these companies are very, very solvent, you know, that they're very strong. Because what you don't want is having a company collapse, right? So that's the only function of the government. "
Trump said his health care plan would take care of poorer people by negotiating deals with hospitals, saying he "actually a conservative with a heart."
"Then on top of that, the people that can't afford to do that, we have to help them out at the lower level," added Trump. "We have to help them out. And I would make deals with hospitals, and I'd make deals with people where they can get some care, John. I mean, you can't have a guy that has no money, that's sick, and he can't go see a doctor, he can't go see a hospital. You know, I just don't think you can have that. I mean, 'cause I'm actually a conservative with a heart."
Trump added that he didn't care if he lost votes for his position, saying "you have to take care of poor people."
"And if I lose votes for that, I don't really care. Because you have to take care of poor people, you have to take -- I mean, think of yourself. You're really sick, and you're not allowed to see a doctor; I mean, it's almost like, sort of, that's you're being in hell. So we have to take care of people that are poor. We have to do it. And we can make a plan, we can work a deal -- I can work a deal with hospitals that will be great for everybody, and they'll be able to go there, and you're not gonna want to do that, and it won't be pretty, it won't be as nice as the other, but at least they're being taken care of."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ilan Ben-Meir is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Ilan Ben-Meir at email@example.com.
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