The Election’s Potential Impact on Healthcare – What to Expect
by Phillip M
In the early hours of November 9, 2016, the people of the United States learned that Donald J. Trump will become our 45th president. His win was unexpected for many, and he has pledged to make big changes in Washington. But how will his plans affect the healthcare industry?
Donald Trump’s Established Healthcare Platform
Donald Trump’s published platform, as released during the general election, expressed the following plans:
- Repeal Obamacare. Trump’s official platform expressed the desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act and eliminate the mandate that requires individuals in the United States to purchase health insurance.
- Increase competition in the health insurance market. Mr. Trump has also stated that he would like to eliminate the laws that prevent health insurance providers from selling policies across state lines. The goal of this change is to increase competition in the health insurance market and drive down prices.
- Allow larger health insurance premium deductions. Mr. Trump has expressed a desire to allow all taxpayers to deduct the full amount of their health insurance premiums from their taxable income.
- Reduce federal involvement in Medicaid. Mr. Trump hopes to reduce the federal government’s involvement in and contributions to state Medicaid programs, allowing the states to manage the administrations of these programs on their own.
- Require price transparency. Trump’s team has suggested that all healthcare providers should be required to provide clear information about the costs of their procedures and other services so that consumers can shop for the best prices.
- Provide consumers access to cheaper drugs. Finally, Mr. Trump states that he wants to remove the barriers that prevent consumers from gaining access to more affordable imported drugs. He believes that this will drive down prices in the United States by increasing competition.
What do the Experts Say?
According to Citywire Money, some experts believe that Donald Trump’s presidency will be a positive change for certain aspects of the healthcare industry, but less positive for others. For example, the biotechnology sector of the healthcare industry is likely to be affected positively or not at all. Certain hospitals and healthcare insurance providers, on the other hand, may be affected negatively, especially if Mr. Trump is successful in repealing the Affordable Care Act.
How Congress Will Affect the Results
Although Mr. Trump has many different ideas that he believes will improve the healthcare industry for consumers and companies, he cannot make these changes on his own. He will need the assistance of the United States Congress in order to make his dreams a reality. However, because the Republicans will maintain their majority in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, his road to change will be easier than it would have been if the Democrats had won more seats. Nonetheless, his changes will not be passed automatically.
What to Expect – Effects on Healthcare Companies and Consumers
Examining Donald Trump’s past statements on healthcare, as well as his official platform, it seems that the most likely outcomes of his presidency with regard to healthcare will be an attempt to increase competitiveness among health insurance providers, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies, as well as an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. With the help of his Republican-led Congress, he may very well be able to accomplish some or all of these goals.
If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, the net effect of the change will depend on what type of legislation is created to take its place. Mr. Trump has pledged to replace the Affordable Care Act with a better policy, but he has not yet released the details of the replacement policy he hopes to create. Depending on the nature of the change, some Americans may have a harder time finding affordable health insurance. However, it is also possible that Mr. Trump’s team could devise a new plan that makes it easier for people to acquire affordable healthcare.
For healthcare providers, repealing the Affordable Care Act may be damaging. Under this law, many of these organization enjoyed benefits, as more of their clients had access to health insurance. Pharmaceutical companies, on the other hand, are not sure what to expect with a Trump presidency. According to the Washington Post, some experts believe that the chances of widespread drug pricing reform will diminish under Donald Trump. However, because Mr. Trump has suggested that Medicare should be able to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies on prices, some people in this industry worry that his impact on pharmaceutical companies could be negative.
In the end, it’s impossible to predict exactly what will happen after Mr. Trump takes office in January. However, by looking at the goals Mr. Trump has stated, as well as the general platform of the Republican Party, healthcare industry players and consumers can prepare for the potential impact.