Election coverage for the 2017 presidential election promises to define the future of Obamacare and the health insurance industry. According to Donald Trump, he would dismantle the whole system and both the industry and its providers would no longer have to abide by the laws regulations. Without the Affordable Care Act, there would also be no individual mandate to require every American to have insurance coverage. After repealing the law, Trump intends to boost competition of insurers by allowing them to sell products across state lines, create more Health Savings Account options, and use block grants to fund state-run Medicaid programs. Trump healthcare and Hillary healthcare are at complete odds with each other.
- Trumpcare would immediately call for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), removing the individual mandate and stopping the expansion of Medicaid program eligibility. Millions of people would become uninsured and there would be an economic penalty to pay until a solid replacement plan is put in force. Without regulations in place, quality and availability of insurance plans for those who could continue to afford them would also be impacted. Federal funding to states, communities, and providers would also be altered or withdrawn. Insurers would be caught in a situation of losing an estimated 12.3 million policyholders and have to offset predicted gains of 56 percent since 2010 along with anticipated losses of 25 percent for those who no longer have to carry insurance. They would do this through expected increased pricing, layoffs, consolidation, and even bankruptcy for less prepared companies. Those left would have to absorb the additional members and costs, increasing their financial burdens temporarily. Those still insured in the marketplace would see roughly an 8 percent increase in premiums.
- Donald Trump believes the market forces in the health care industry can absorb the changes through premium tax deductions and increased use of tax- free health savings accounts (HSA) limiting costs and need for private insurance coverage. Insurance companies would design new products and premiums. In addition, HSA funds would transfer to heirs without a tax penalty.
- In an effort to promote free enterprise, Trump would also allow the sale of health insurance across state lines and shift Medicaid from federal to state control. However, he would not require insurance companies to develop and sell products to every state or every population. It would naturally increase competition and decrease costs, possibly allowing smaller insurance providers to compete with larger ones. People would be able to comparison shop for prices on coverage, procedures, and exams. Because the insurance industry is also part of the banking and finance industry, there does seem to be a need for Federal regulations, but Trump has not addressed them. This goes against his general philosophy of government interference and reducing the countries dependence on public health programs. He would need to have congress repeal The McCarran-Ferguson Act passed by Congress in 1945 taking back the power for states to regulate insurance companies.
- Mr. Trump believes Medicare should be able to negotiate drug pricing and save $300 billion a year by allowing the purchase of drugs overseas. He wants to rework the Medicaid system somehow and still be able to provide coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, but on both those initiatives, he is unclear about the process or direction he would take.
- He believes the illegal immigrant population has put the US health care system under duress and, by restricting visas, he can reduce health care costs to state and local governments.
Donald Trump repeals the Affordable Care Act in order to base a health care system on a free market economy designed to balance out supply and demand, automatically decreasing costs to a reasonable level, insisting that the best social program is maintaining employment and reducing dependence on public assistance. Repealing Obamacare deregulates the health care industry once again, block grants for Medicaid give states a specific budget to control, Medicare can negotiate lower drug costs, and everyone has a choice to participate in coverage or not. Election coverage for Trump’s health care provisions are certain to be vastly different than Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plans.
Resources and Links:
Luhby, T., 2016. Trump’s Healthcare Plan: What He Promises and What it Really Says, http://money.cnn.com/2016/03/03/news/economy/trump-health-care/
Axelson, B., 2016. Donald Trump’s Healthcare Plan Revealed: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know, http://www.syracuse.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/03/donald_trumps_health_care_plan.html
Appold, K., 2016. How Trump Would Change Healthcare. http://managedhealthcareexecutive.modernmedicine.com/managed-healthcare-executive/news/how-trump-and-kasich-would-change-healthcare