President Donald Trump’s first order of presidential business was the signing of an executive order that, according to some, could cause the federal health insurance marketplace to fail. This order permits the Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary to allow exemptions for hardship to individuals who choose not to obtain health insurance coverage. With these exemptions, there is a possibility that, while the chronically ill will seek insurance options, healthy individuals may choose to forgo coverage leaving the risk pool unbalanced.
Currently, the Republican-controlled Senate is nearly unanimous in their support for an outright repeal of Obamacare. President Trump, however, has said numerous times that his plan is to repeal and replace Obamacare almost simultaneously, keeping those who want to carry insurance insured. Certain portions of the Affordable Care Act that are collectively popular will likely be a proposed portion of President Trump’s replacement plan, including the claim that nobody will be left uninsured as witnessed in the following video.
Donald Trump’s initial plan was to completely repeal and replace Obamacare, suggesting that nobody should be forced to purchase health insurance coverage. Trump seems to have backed down on the complete repeal, which isn’t surprising given how intricate the Affordable Care Act is. It requires 60 votes in the Senate to actually repeal and replace Obamacare.
The GOP would be satisfied with only eliminating key components of Obamacare, such as the individual mandate. Since Donald Trump feels the same, the Senate Republicans will be more motivated to improve what is left. Trump mentioned, in an interview with CBS, that he would attempt to keep what he felt were the strongest assets of Obamacare.
President Trump’s replacement plan, nicknamed TrumpCare, will likely include a guaranteed issue of healthcare coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions, and children will remain on their parent’s policy until the age of 26. With Obamacare, over 9 million children benefit from an expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, otherwise known as CHIP, and will likely continue to benefit under Donald Trump’s new plan. Due to the terms outlined in the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expanded in several states. This expansion has been beneficial to many Americans and is projected to remain in effect.
The expansion of Medicaid greatly increased the number of individuals who receive subsidies for healthcare. Federal Medicaid spending is dependent upon how many individuals are enrolled in the program and varies from year to year. As an alternative, Donald Trump plans to use a block grant program to fund states individually. Block-grant funding may save millions of dollars, but it does come with disadvantages.
Under President Trump’s new plan, Medicaid may require the extra federal funds to be returned, and block granting would prevent some individuals from receiving the help that they need, thereby “ending the open-ended era of coverage.” Individuals with pre-existing conditions or the elderly may suffer. Donald Trump, backed by the GOP, argue that proposed changes to Medicaid are designed with long-term savings and efficiency in mind.
TrumpCare will allow individuals to deduct their health insurance premiums, increase competition by permitting insurance plans to be sold across state lines, and increase individual access to tax-free Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). He has also mentioned allowing the importation of less expensive medications, which are of similar quality, from other countries. If executed properly, it is estimated that TrumpCare has the potential to reduce the national deficit by $583 billion by the year 2026.
Obamacare increased coverage for the reproductive health of millions of women. This coverage “included both contraceptives and abortion services.” With the repeal of Obamacare, the GOP plans to discontinue funds for Planned Parenthood. Under the new plan, the GOP wishes to redirect the Planned Parenthood’s federal funds, previously received through reimbursements from Medicaid, to health clinics that do not perform abortion services.
President Trump’s healthcare plan does not favor abortion; however, it does cover circumstances of incest, rape, or situations that are life-threatening to the mother. Trump’s healthcare outline defunds Planned Parenthood organizations who continue to recommend abortion as an offered service.
TrumpCare reforms are merely a starting point. Some aspects may help to achieve lower healthcare costs and improve financial stability for the American family. For the same purpose, new actions will be proposed in other areas. Paul Ryan, house speaker, has outlined a healthcare plan that is very similar to TrumpCare. Perhaps the members of Congress, the house speaker, and President Donald Trump can find a common ground when they repeal and replace Obamacare, making the “American healthcare system great again.”
[Featured Image By Mark Wilson/Getty Images]