September 26, 2016

Seniors and Campaign Issues: Donald Trump

Donald Trump's views and positions on campaign issues, including ideas about social security, medicare, health care, and other issues. 

The following is a look at campaign positions posted by Donald Trump.

Social Security

I will save Social Security with more jobs, less waste

I'm going to save Social Security. You have tremendous waste, fraud and abuse. We have in Social Security thousands of people over 106 years old. You know they don't exist. There's tremendous waste, fraud and abuse, and we're going to get it. But we're not going to hurt the people who have been paying into Social Security their whole life and then all of a sudden they're supposed to get less. We're bringing jobs back.

Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina, Feb 13, 2016

I'll give up my Social Security; leave it to each person

Q: Chris Christie says billionaires and people who make and earn far less should no longer get Social Security, or there should be limits based on income.

A: I'm OK with it. I would be willing to say I will not get Social Security. As a policy, I would leave it up to the people. Don't forget they pay in, and maybe they do well, and maybe some people want it. But the fact is that there are people that truly don't need it, and there are many people that do need it very, very badly.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN, Sep 16, 2015

Cannot change Medicare or Soc. Sec. and still win elections

[At CPAC, Trump said]: "As Republicans, if you think you are going to change very substantially for the worse Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in any substantial way, and at the same time you think you are going to win elections, it just really is not going to happen," Mr. Trump said, adding that polls show that tea partyers are among those who don't want their entitlements changed. "What we have to do and the way we solve our problems is to build a great economy."

Source: 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. in Washington Times, Mar 15, 2013

Social Security isn't an "entitlement"; it's honoring a deal

Social Security faces a problem: 77 million baby boomers set to retire. Now I know there are some Republicans who would be just fine with allowing these programs to wither and die on the vine. The way they see it, Social Security and Medicare are wasteful "entitlement programs." But people who think this way need to rethink their position. It's not unreasonable for people who paid into a system for decades to expect to get their money's worth--that's not an "entitlement," that's honoring a deal. We as a society must also make an ironclad commitment to providing a safety net for those who can't make one for themselves.

Social Security is here to stay. To be sure, we must reform it, root out the fraud, make it more efficient, and ensure that the program is solvent.

Same goes for Medicare. Again, people have lived up to their end of the bargain and paid into the program in good faith. Of course they believe they're "entitled" to receive the benefits they paid for--they are!

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 68-69, Dec 5, 2011

Disability Racket: $25B in fraudulent disability filings

The top estimates are $2,340,000,000 in Medicare fraud over a decade--or 16% of America's entire national debt! Then there's the disability racket. Did you know that one out of every 20 people in America now claims disability? That adds up to $170 billion a year in disability checks. Between 2005 and 2009, it is estimated that $25 billion were eaten up in fraudulent Social Security Disability Insurance filings. On and on, scam after scam it goes; as always, taxpayers are the ones getting stiffed.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 77, Dec 5, 2011

Pay off debt; put $3T interest savings into Trust Fund

I would impose a one-time, 14.25% tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million. That would raise $5.7 trillion in new revenue, which we would use to pay off the entire national debt. We would save $200 billion in interest payments, which would allow us to cut taxes on middle-class working families by $100 billion a year or $1 trillion over ten years. We could use the rest of the savings--$100 billion-to bolster the Social Security Trust Fund. By 2030, we [will have] put $3 trillion into the trust Fund, which would make it solvent into the next century.

[In addition to shoring up Social Security for the long term], I say it’s high time to separate Social Security from the general treasury. It is time to lock-box it and throw away the key.

The rich will scream. Only the top 1% of people-those with a net worth of $10 million or more-would be affected by my plan. The other 99% would get deep reductions in heir federal income taxes.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 169-171 & 201, Jul 2, 2000

Let people invest their own retirement funds

The solution to the Great Social Security crisis couldn’t be more obvious: Allow every American to dedicate some portion of their payroll taxes to a personal Social Security account that they could own and invest in stocks and bonds. Federal guidelines would make sure that your money is diversified, that it is invested in sound mutual funds or bond funds, and not in emu ranches. The national savings rate would soar and billions of dollars would be cycled from savings, to productive assets, to retirement money. And unlike the previous system, the assets in this retirement account could be left to one’s heirs, used to start a business, or anything else one desires.

Privatization would be good for all of us. Directing Social Security funds into personal accounts invested in real assets would swell national savings, pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into jobs and the economy. These investments would boost national investment, productivity, wages, and future economic growth.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 198-199 & 203, Jul 2, 2000

No government investment of retirement funds

I would never support what has to be the craziest ideas in the history of U.S. politics: allowing the government to invest Social Security retirement funds in the stock market. Not only would a market downturn spell disaster for millions of retirees, but the process by which government would choose stocks would also be entirely political, making lobbyists and other political hacks the new masters of the universe.

Source.

Health care

Since March of 2010, the American people have had to suffer under the incredible economic burden of the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare. This legislation, passed by totally partisan votes in the House and Senate and signed into law by the most divisive and partisan President in American history, has tragically but predictably resulted in runaway costs, websites that don’t work, greater rationing of care, higher premiums, less competition and fewer choices. Obamacare has raised the economic uncertainty of every single person residing in this country. As it appears Obamacare is certain to collapse of its own weight, the damage done by the Democrats and President Obama, and abetted by the Supreme Court, will be difficult to repair unless the next President and a Republican congress lead the effort to bring much-needed free market reforms to the health care industry.

But none of these positive reforms can be accomplished without Obamacare repeal. On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.

However, it is not enough to simply repeal this terrible legislation. We will work with Congress to make sure we have a series of reforms ready for implementation that follow free market principles and that will restore economic freedom and certainty to everyone in this country. By following free market principles and working together to create sound public policy that will broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans.

Any reform effort must begin with Congress. Since Obamacare became law, conservative Republicans have been offering reforms that can be delivered individually or as part of more comprehensive reform efforts. In the remaining sections of this policy paper, several reforms will be offered that should be considered by Congress so that on the first day of the Trump Administration, we can start the process of restoring faith in government and economic liberty to the people.

Congress must act. Our elected representatives in the House and Senate must:

  1. Completely repeal Obamacare. Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.
  2. Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. As long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state. By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.
  3. Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system. Businesses are allowed to take these deductions so why wouldn’t Congress allow individuals the same exemptions? As we allow the free market to provide insurance coverage opportunities to companies and individuals, we must also make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance. We must review basic options for Medicaid and work with states to ensure that those who want healthcare coverage can have it.
  4. Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate. These accounts would become part of the estate of the individual and could be passed on to heirs without fear of any death penalty. These plans should be particularly attractive to young people who are healthy and can afford high-deductible insurance plans. These funds can be used by any member of a family without penalty. The flexibility and security provided by HSAs will be of great benefit to all who participate.
  5. Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals. Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.
  6. Block-grant Medicaid to the states. Nearly every state already offers benefits beyond what is required in the current Medicaid structure. The state governments know their people best and can manage the administration of Medicaid far better without federal overhead. States will have the incentives to seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse to preserve our precious resources.
  7. Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America. Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.

The reforms outlined above will lower health care costs for all Americans. They are simply a place to start. There are other reforms that might be considered if they serve to lower costs, remove uncertainty and provide financial security for all Americans. And we must also take actions in other policy areas to lower healthcare costs and burdens. Enforcing immigration laws, eliminating fraud and waste and energizing our economy will relieve the economic pressures felt by every American. It is the moral responsibility of a nation’s government to do what is best for the people and what is in the interest of securing the future of the nation.

Providing healthcare to illegal immigrants costs us some $11 billion annually. If we were to simply enforce the current immigration laws and restrict the unbridled granting of visas to this country, we could relieve health care cost pressures on state and local governments.

To reduce the number of individuals needing access to programs like Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program we will need to install programs that grow the economy and bring capital and jobs back to America. The best social program has always been a job – and taking care of our economy will go a long way towards reducing our dependence on public health programs.

Finally, we need to reform our mental health programs and institutions in this country. Families, without the ability to get the information needed to help those who are ailing, are too often not given the tools to help their loved ones. There are promising reforms being developed in Congress that should receive bi-partisan support.

To reform healthcare in America, we need a President who has the leadership skills, will and courage to engage the American people and convince Congress to do what is best for the country. These straightforward reforms, along with many others I have proposed throughout my campaign, will ensure that together we will Make America Great Again.

Source.