Businessman Donald Trump—who is leading in many polls among candidates for the Republican presidential nomination—said Wednesday that he would replace the Affordable Care Act if elected president, in part by working out "some sort of a really smart deal with hospitals."
According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, the real-estate magnate leads the rest of the Republican field by a large margin, outpacing the 2nd-highest-polling candidate by seven percentage points.
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Trump said that the ACA has "gotta go" and that he would repeal the law and replace it with "something terrific." When asked for specific details, Trump said that health insurance should be left to private, largely unregulated plans and that the government should only be involved to help "make sure those companies are financially strong, so that if they have catastrophic events or they make a miscalculation, they have plenty of money."
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Trump also said he wants to help low-income people afford health care. He said he would "work out some sort of a really smart deal with hospitals across the country," to provide care for low-income Americans.
Some conservative commentators have criticized Trump for previously supporting a single-payer health system. In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Trump said he was "liberal" on health care and praised the Canadian health care system. "We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan, as many individual states are doing," he explained.
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By 2011 he had starting backing away from those comments, telling the New York Times the country was "much different" when he supported single-payer health care (Ferris, The Hill, 7/29; Greenberg, "Pundit Fact," Tampa Bay Times, 7/24; Shepard, Politico, 7/30; Diamond, CNN, 7/30).
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