Trump has been criticized for much the opposite, passing off high TV ratings and wealth as evidence of integrity and credibility. Both men are constantly afforded opportunities to redeem themselves, but for Oz, this is a unique chance. The U.S. is faced with the possibility of being ruled by a man whose own biographer says “wants to be Putin, a despot and dictator.”
For all the times that Oz has chosen to use his enormous platform in ways that do little to advance scientific literacy, social justice, or public health, he has an opportunity to redeem himself. Here is one way he might.
Oz: Welcome to the show, Donald.
Trump: Honestly, Mehmet, it’s a pleasure. Huge fan. I think what you’re doing here is just so great. It’s really great.
Oz: It is. Hey, let’s get down to business. You want to “repeal and replace” Obamacare with something that you say will be “absolutely fantastic.” Can you give us a little sneak preview of what that might look like?
Trump: Honestly, Obamacare is a disaster. We’re going to repeal it. We’re going to throw it in the garbage—
Oz: I’m clear on that, yes. And I think what the American people are wondering is, how would you do that, and then what would you do with the 22 million Americans who would instantly be uninsured?
Trump: Honestly, it’s absolutely a piece of cake. Let me tell you. Obamacare is total trash.
Oz: [Addressing audience] This guy is a tough cookie! [Laughter] You got me, Donald. I absolutely concede that Obamacare hasn’t driven down health-care costs in this country. We still spend a fifth of our GDP, more than $10,000 per person per year, and what do we have to show for it? Some of the poorer health outcomes of any developed country. But if you repeal it, what then? You’ve said you’re going to “replace it with something terrific?”
Trump: We’re going to make sure that the American people have something so totally excellent, they won’t even believe it. It’ll be like, like meeting God and having him say, “You know what? You are the best.”
Oz: Meeting God, as in?
Trump: Obviously no, not in the sense of dying. No one is going to die in this country. Not when I’m president. As long as you belong here.
Oz: But—and I’m going to press you on this, Donald—how do you do it?
Trump: Honestly, we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare—
Oz: You’re angering me, Donald! [laughter]
Trump: We’re gonna stomp all over it like a piece of garbage. It’s been naughty, Mehmet. Honestly, it’s a naughty piece of garbage.
Well for one thing, as it says on my website, I have a plan called “Healthcare Reform to Make America Great Again.” It’s 1089 words, and they’re all great. For one thing, let me tell you, it says we’re going to allow individuals to use health savings accounts.
Oz: People have been able to do that since 2003… Let me help you out, okay. Because I think you’ve posed a reasonable idea or two. And one is transparency of health-care costs. If I’m going to get a heart surgery [points to heart] or an MRI scan [points to brain], I should at least know how much that costs. A gauze pad in a hospital shouldn’t cost $308. Right now, those numbers can be insanely inflated and people have no idea. That sort of transparency is something everyone wants, including President Obama. So you’re on the same page there. But it has been politically very difficult to make happen. Along the same lines, you propose letting Americans buy medications from other countries, namely Canada. By increasing competition, you think people could save a lot of money.