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5 Key Points About Healthcare Policy Under the Trump Administration


Donald Trump's election stunned many and made the prospect of Obamacare being repealed almost a certainty. Here's a look at 5 key points in Trump’s healthcare reform proposals.

Donald Trump’s election stunned many voters, and as recently as October 25, speakers at America’s Health Insurance Plans’ National Conference on Medicare held a discussion on health policy and the election, working under the assumption of a Hillary Clinton presidency with a Republican-controlled Congress.

The surprise outcome of the election has made many reevaluate the future of healthcare in the United States. Now that the election is over, here’s a look at 5 key points in Trump’s healthcare reform proposals.

1. Goodbye, Affordable Care Act (ACA)

While it is still unclear if Republicans and Trump will go for a full repeal of the law or just dismantle certain parts of it, one thing is certain: Obamacare will be the first item Republicans address under their new president.

Trump ran on a platform of repeal and replace, and Republicans have been promising the same thing for years.

UPDATE, 11/11, 5:28 pm: In an exclusive interview with The Wall Street Journal, the president elect admitted he is softening his stance on Obamacare after his meeting at the White House with President Barack Obama. According to the article, Trump has revealed he would be willing to compromise and keep 2 provisions: the ban on insurers denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and allowing children to stay on their parents' health insurance for additional years.

2. Paul Ryan’s “A Better Way” plan

The House Speaker, who is expected to be re-elected to the position, has outlined a Republican plan to repeal and replace the ACA in a 37-page plan called “A Better Way.”

A piece in JAMA Internal Medicine that was published just before Election Day pointed out that there is overlap between Trump’s healthcare reform plan and Ryan’s proposal. While Trump’s plan is less detailed, 5 of his 7 items appear in Ryan’s plan.

3. Expanded use of health savings accounts (HSAs)

This is one of those items on both Trump’s and Ryan’s plans. Republicans are fans of increased use of HSAs, and it had been part of the ACA repeal outline released almost a full year ago by Ben Carson when he was still running for president.

In an analysis of Trump’s healthcare proposals, PwC noted that expanded use of HSAs would likely have a positive impact on payers, but a negative one on providers and life science and pharmaceutical companies.

4. Selling insurance across state lines

Trump first started talking about this idea in the first GOP debate. The current system requires that rates be set on a state-by-state basis and large employers are not able to take advantage of their size to get lower rates.

The proposal to sell across state lines is based on the idea that being able to do so will lessen regulatory hurdles and decrease administrative burdens, while lowering the cost of coverage. Ryan also included purchasing coverage across state lines in his "A Better Way" policy paper.

5. Various other healthcare changes

Trump’s site reiterates his stance against abortion, promising to protect human life from conception. He also states his administration will advance research and development.

Trump’s agenda includes reforming the FDA “to put greater focus on the need of patients for new and innovative medical products.” The FDA has already been making efforts to speed up the approval process to get medications to market faster.

Trump’s election resulted in biotech and pharma stocks increasing the day after, and this will likely be viewed as more good news for these companies.

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