Ed Haislmaier on Policy Changes That Impact Healthcare Financial Burdens

March 9, 2018

Ed F. Haislmaier, the Preston A. Wells Jr senior research fellow at the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation, discusses the policies under the Trump administration and how they will affect financial burdens.

Ed F. Haislmaier, the Preston A. Wells Jr senior research fellow at the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation, discusses the policies under the Trump administration and how they will affect financial burdens.

Transcript

Do you think the Trump administration’s decision to extend the life short-term health plans will have an impact on the financial hardships many patients face?

The Trump administration’s move to restore the previous definition of short term plans would provide an out in the near term for people who are self-employed, for example, and get no subsidies for coverage because they would be able to have less expensive coverage. Over the longer run, I think those people will probably move towards association plans which is something else that the Trump administration put forward.

What policy change might help alleviate financial burdens facing patients as new, potentially curative but expensive, treatments come to market to ensure patients have access to these innovative medications?

The treatments are primarily pharmaceutical therapies, biologics in particular. I think we’re seeing already in the private sector integrating those benefits with hospital and physicians. Otherwise, not treating them as separate. We have situations where yes, the pharmaceutical therapy is expensive but it’s not different than a surgery, it’s just were more used to paying large dollars for a surgery opposed to paying large dollars for pharmacy. The use of separate deductibles and things like that is sort of going away in the private market. The government programs, particularly Medicare, haven’t kept up with that and that’s where it needs to be integrated.