The United States voters have elected a new president and a new legislature, both Republican. Analysts expect major changes in policy and law after 8 years of Democratic control.
In a previous post, I outlined then- candidate Donald Trump’s proposals for health care reform, chief of which is repealing the Affordable Care Act (alternately known as the ACA or ObamaCare). Here is a link to that post for your review.
Since his election, President-elect Trump says there are two features of the ACA he would like to see preserved-
- Prohibition of insurance denial for pre-existing conditions
- Covering young adults age 18-26 years old on their parents’ insurance plan
He confirmed this in an interview with Leslie Stahl on November 13, 2016 which you can view here-
Since he will need to work with Congress to achieve his proposals, we should review the Republican party’s platform on health care.
While similar to the President-elect’s plan, it is broader in scope and more specific. Larry Levitt, MPP, reviewed both parties’ platforms in a recent issue of JAMA (September 6, 2016) , basing his review from the parties’ online platforms.
The Republican Platform includes:
- Repeal of the Affordable Care Act
- Protect insurance discrimination for preexisting conditions as long as continuous coverage is maintained
- Allow people to buy insurance across state lines
- Make individually purchased health insurance tax deductible
- Limit federal spending on Medicaid, allowing the states more leeway in administering the program through block grants
- Changes to Medicare- providing people under 55 years with a traditional Medicare option or a premium support system of competing plans; raising the age of eligibility for Medicare.
In comparison, the Democratic Party proposes
- Continue building on the ACA to achieve universal health care
- Provide a “public option” plan and allow people over age 55 years to buy-in to Medicare
- Make premiums more affordable and reduce out-of-pocket costs to patients
- Cap out-of-pocket monthly drug costs
- Permit importation of lower-priced drugs from other countries
- Allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices directly with manufacturers
- Expand funding for community health centers
Mr. Levitt is Senior Vice President for Special Initiatives at the Kaiser Family Foundation and Co-Executive Director of the Kaiser Initiative on Health Reform and Private Insurance. He summarizes his review this way-
“The ACA has increased insurance coverage by 20 million people and is now the status quo in our health care system. Fully repealing it would be very disruptive.
At the same time, the public remains divided on the law, so building on it will also be controversial.”
You can read his full review and analysis here-
Follow this blog here and on Facebook for more updates on what will happen to our health care under a new administration. Feel free to share your opinions, ideas, and experiences here- thoughtful, considerate, and helpful comments are always welcome.