During a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Monday, Donald Trump touted his healthcare plan. The Washington Examiner called the speech “a mixture of socialism and incoherence.”
Trump’s Republican opponents have hit the businessman repeatedly over his effusive praise for socialized healthcare, but that hasn’t stopped him from pushing ahead.
Here are five times Trump’s rhetoric about healthcare sounded more socialist than free-market:
Trump’s interview with “60 Minutes”
In September, during an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Trump was asked by Scott Pelley about healthcare:
TRUMP: “Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, ‘No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private. But–‘”
PELLEY: “Universal health care.”
TRUMP: “I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”
PELLEY: “The uninsured person is going to be taken care of. How? How?”
TRUMP: “They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably–”
PELLEY: “Make a deal? Who pays for it?”
TRUMP: –the government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side. But for the most it’s going to be a private plan and people are going to be able to go out and negotiate great plans with lots of different competition with lots of competitors with great companies and they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything.”
Trump’s remarks at the Fox News debate
During the first Republican debate on August 6, 2015, moderator Bret Baier and Donald Trump had the following exchange:
BAIER: “Now, 15 years ago, you called yourself a liberal on health care. You were for a single-payer system, a Canadian-style system. Why were you for that then and why aren’t you for it now?”
TRUMP: “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’re talking about here. What I’d like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state…Get rid of the artificial lines and you will have yourself great plans. And then we have to take care of the people that can’t take care of themselves. And I will do that through a different system.”
Trump never elaborated on how a Canadian-style system would have worked in the “different age” of 15 years ago.
Trump’s Larry King, NBC, and The Advocate interviews
In 1999, when Donald Trump was considering a run for president, he told Larry King:
“If you can’t take care of your sick in the country, forget it, it’s all over… I believe in universal healthcare.”
Similarly, in 1999, he said the following on NBC’s “Dateline”:
“Liberal on healthcare, we have to take care of people… I love universal.”
And he told The Advocate in February 2000:
“I would put forth a comprehensive health care program and fund it with an increase in corporate taxes.”
In 2000, Trump wrote a book called The America We Deserve, in which he praised universal healthcare systems:
“We must have universal healthcare…I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on this one. We should not hear so many stories of families ruined by healthcare expenses…
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.”
Trump’s anecdote on David Letterman
Appearing on The Late Show in January 2015, Trump told a story about his friend who visited Scotland:
“A friend of mine was in Scotland recently. He got very, very sick. They took him by ambulance and he was there for four days. He was really in trouble, and they released him and he said, ‘Where do I pay?’ And they said, ‘There’s no charge.’ Not only that, he said it was like great doctors, great care. I mean we could have a great system in this country.”
As the above examples show, Donald Trump has been an advocate of socialized medicine for decades.