Health Care Under President-Elect Trump

American FlagThe president-elect has been named, and it is necessary to analyze what health care
would look like under a Trump presidency. Although the campaign did not heavily focus on the subject of health care policy, Mr. Trump did make several promises in regards to health care that may become prevalent in his first 100 days in office. The most influential and consistent rhetoric on health care during the Trump campaign was his vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act,
which is more commonly referred to as ‘ObamaCare’. On his campaign website, he stated that he wished to “
create a patient-centered health care system that promotes choice, quality, and affordability.” He plans to do this through free-market solutions such as:

  • Allowing private insurance companies to sell policies across state lines in order to encourage competition and lower premiums.
  • Allowing individuals to purchase coverage with pre-tax dollars.
  • Encourage individuals to open health savings accounts.
  • Improve Medicaid by giving federal money to state-governed programs in the form of block grants so that the state governments will have more control over how to spend it.
  • Create more jobs so that the level of dependence on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program will lessen.

On Wednesday, November 9th, the day after the election, over 100,000 people rushed to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act; the highest number of people to sign up in one day all year. When the Act was first put into place the health care industry spent hundreds of millions of dollars to prepare businesses for the implementation of the new plan. It is a possibility that many individuals would be left without health care if the Affordable Care Act were to be repealed all at once and hospitals would likely receive the most significant financial blow.

Yet, per several recent interviews and website updates, President-Elect Trump seems to be changing his mind about a few of his original campaign platforms especially surrounding health care. His policy page looks noticeably different on his new website launched just after the election. It does not mention the plan to halt and decrease the rising pharmaceutical drug prices which was a point he had fought for during the campaign. The policy page now includes a new plan to modernize Medicare, a plan similar to one Republicans have been trying to push through Congress for quite some time now.  In addition, despite promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act Trump has indicated, in an interview for 60 Minutes, that he plans to keep two major benefits of the Act including the benefit that enforces insurers to cover individuals with any pre-existing health conditions and the benefit that allows children to remain under their parents coverage until the age of 25.  

 

As deductibles will likely continue to rise, the growth of Health Savings Accounts (HSA) is imminent.  Republicans have historically been strong supporters of HSA’s – instruments thru which patients in high deductible health plans can alleviate their out of pocket pain by smartly using their pre-tax dollars.  Popular HSA custodians and banks include Select Account, Datapath, and Sterling Administration.   

The United States will be undergoing major changes in the next four years. The changes may perhaps be even more significant than the changes seen during the Obama administration because President-Elect Trump will have a Republican majority in both the House and the Senate which will work strongly in his favor.

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