Politics

Donald Trump Praises Single Payer Health Care At The Republican Debate

Trump said he’d like to see a “private system,” but said a single payer system could have worked in the United States “in a different age.”

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Donald Trump stood by his past support for single payer health care at the Republican presidential debate Thursday night, and even said he thought it worked well in Canada and could have worked in the past in the United States.

“As far as single payer, it works in Canada, it works incredibly well in Scotland, it could have worked in a different age, which is the age you are talking about here,” Trump stated.

In late 1990s and early 2000s, when he was first flirting with a presidential run as a member of the Reform Party, Trump advocated far to left on health care, even of of many in today’s Democratic Party.

Speaking with Larry King Live in 1999, Trump said he was “quite liberal” when it came to health care.

“I said I’m conservative, generally speaking, I’m conservative, and even very conservative,” Trump told King in response to a question about a “patients’ bill of rights. “But I’m quite liberal and getting much more liberal on health care and other things. I really say: What’s the purpose of a country if you’re not going to have defensive and health care?’”

“If you can’t take care of your sick in the country, forget it, it’s all over. I mean, it’s no good. So I’m very liberal when it comes to health care,” he said. “I believe in universal health care. I believe in whatever it takes to make people well and better.”

He wrote in his 2000 book that, “We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan, as many individual states are doing.”

Trump said at Thursday night’s debate that he believed he “a private system” was best.

“What I would like to see is a private system, without the artificial lines around every state. I have a big company with thousands and thousands of employees, and if I’m negotiating in New York, or New Jersey or in California, I have like one bidder. Nobody can bid, you know why? Because the insurance companies are making a fortune because they have control of the politicians. Of course with the exception of the politicians on the stage. But they have total control of the politicians. They are making a fortune.”

Trump added he would have “a different system” to take care of the poor in this country.

“Get rid of the artificial lines and you will have yourself great plans. And then we have to take care of the people who can’t take care of themselves and I will do that through a different system,” he concluded.

Trump previously told the John Fredericks Show earlier this year he’d take care of the poor by negotiating deals with hospitals, saying he was “actually a conservative with a heart.”

Here’s a quick run down of Trump’s past support for universal health care when speaking to media:

Trump advocated far to left — even of today’s Democratic Party — when it came to health care in late 1990s and early 2000s when he first flirted for running for president as a member of the Reform Party.

Speaking with Larry King Live in 1999, Trump said he was “quite liberal” when it came to health care.

“I said I’m conservative, generally speaking, I’m conservative, and even very conservative,” Trump told King in response to a question about a “patients’ bill of rights. “But I’m quite liberal and getting much more liberal on health care and other things. I really say: What’s the purpose of a country if you’re not going to have defensive and health care?’”

Trump added believed in “universal health care.”

“If you can’t take care of your sick in the country, forget it, it’s all over. I mean, it’s no good. So I’m very liberal when it comes to health care,” he said. “I believe in universal health care. I believe in whatever it takes to make people well and better.”

Trump also said he thought health care was an entitlement from birth.

“I think it is. It’s an entitlement to this country, and too bad the world can’t be, you know, in this country. But the fact is, it’s an entitlement to this country if we’re going to have a great country.”

Speaking with The Advocate that year, Trump said he’d fund his universal health care plan with an increase in corporate taxes.

“I would put forward a comprehensive health care program and fund it with an increase in corporate taxes,” Trump said.

Trump advocating for single payer in his 2000 book, The America We Deserve:

What would universal care look like? Nebraska senator Kerrey and others have advocated a version of the Canadian-style, single-payer system in which all payments for medical care are made to a single agency (as opposed to the large number of HMOs and insurance companies, with their diverse rules, claim forms, and déductibles ).

A recent study done by the Massachusetts Medical Society says that in Massachusetts the single-payer plan would save $ 5 billion or about one-seventh of the overhead spent on medical care. Administrative costs across America make up 25 percent of the healthcare dollar, which is two-and-a-half times the cost of healthcare administration in Canada. Doctors might be paid less than they are now, as is the case in Canada, but they would be able to treat more patients because of the reduction in their paperwork.

The Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than Americans.

There are fewer medical lawsuits, less loss of labor to sickness, and lower costs to companies paying for the medical care of their employees. If the program were in place in Massachusetts in 1999 it would have reduced administrative costs by $ 2.5 million. We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan, as many individual states are doing. But implementing such a plan is not simple. One major problem is that the single-payer plan in Canada is in financial difficulty, as is the nationalized plan in the United Kingdom. We have to improve on the prototype.

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