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What Changes Will the Trump Administration Bring to Healthcare?

Written by: Kimberly Commito on Monday, January 23, 2017 Posted in: HME/DME, Home Infusion, Specialty Pharmacy

faqChange in power most often brings change in policies and programs. With President Donald Trump officially in office, one of the most talked-about changes to come is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was signed into law by President Obama in 2010. Speculation abounds regarding how and to what extent the new president will affect, change or replace the program.

About a week before his inauguration, President Trump told The Washington Post that he had a plan to replace the ACA and that his plan would provide “insurance for everybody.” Without providing specific details, he told The Post, “People covered under the law can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better.” (1)

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On the other hand, some of the changes Trump proposed during his campaign would dramatically affect Medicaid and could force states to cut benefits to many who just began receiving coverage under Medicaid expansion. For example, Trump suggested funding Medicaid through block grants, or lump sums of federal money, rather than as an entitlement program, which guarantees coverage for all who are eligible. Although block grants would give states more control of their Medicaid funds and greater flexibility in managing the programs, this probably means that the federal government would spend less on Medicaid and states would have to cover the costs that exceed their federal allocation. (2)

Trump also assured The Post that he would pressure pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices, which he said is essential to his plan to lower healthcare costs overall. Obviously, in recent years, spending on pharmaceuticals, particularly specialty medications, has grown significantly. But there’s uncertainty about how the president’s plan to “force drug companies to negotiate directly with the government on prices in Medicare and Medicaid” will play out because of partisan sentiment toward the 2003 law that “prohibits such negotiations.” (3)  Trump indicated in his interview and throughout his campaign that he does not intend to suggest cuts to Medicare benefits.  He did not elaborate on this in detail either, however.

Other healthcare-related changes Trump endorsed during his candidacy include: (4)

  • Allowing individuals to fully deduct all health insurance premiums on their taxes
  • Allowing insurance plans to be sold across state lines to increase competition and, potentially, lower prices
  • Transparency in pricing for medical procedures and other healthcare costs
  • Greater access to tax-free health savings accounts

Meanwhile, Congress recently approved budget resolutions that would enable it to repeal parts of the ACA, and Republicans have been developing their own plan, which may not align entirely with the president’s. For that reason, the repeal and replace process may not go as quickly as President Trump would like. Whatever happens, Mediware is committed to ensuring its CareTend software, for specialty pharmacy, home infusion, and HME/DME providers, will be ready to help you care for your patients and meet your payers’ requirements.

 

Sources:

  1. “Trump Vows ‘Insurance for Everybody’ in Obamacare replacement plan.” The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-vows-insurance-for-everybody-in-obamacare-replacement-plan/2017/01/15/5f2b1e18-db5d-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trump-interview-822pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.10289a4dee39
  2. “Millions Could Lose Medicaid Coverage Under Trump Plan.” Kaiser Health News. http://khn.org/news/millions-could-lose-medicaid-coverage-under-trump-plan/.
  3. “Trump Vows ‘Insurance for Everybody’ in Obamacare replacement plan.” The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-vows-insurance-for-everybody-in-obamacare-replacement-plan/2017/01/15/5f2b1e18-db5d-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trump-interview-822pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.10289a4dee39
  4. “The Ultimate Q&A About Health Care Under a Trump Presidency.” The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/11/17/the-ultimate-qa-about-health-care-under-president-trump/.

 

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