- House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) on Thursday said the GOP is looking to significantly change Medicare in 2017, The Hill reported.
- Price shared that lawmakers plan could accomplish such plans using a reconciliation process, which might occur in the "first six to eight months" into a Donald Trump (R) presidential administration.
- If what Price – who is being rumored as a candidate for the soon-to-be-open HHS secretary position – says holds water, the GOP party could widely change health policy with potential ACA tweaks or outright repeal.
2017 could be a roller coaster of a year for health policy and the industry overall if, under a Trump administration, the ACA is repealed or modified. There have been rumors that a repeal plus a transition period could come as the GOP works out a replacement. So far, there are no concrete details on this front nor on a Medicare overhaul.
On Trump's website, one of the six bullet points on healthcare reform notes the administration, along with the help of Congress, will seek to "[m]odernize Medicare, so that it will be ready for the challenges with the coming retirement of the Baby Boom generation - and beyond."
In a recent call to readers' reactions for a Trump presidency, one responder actually cited this bullet point. "What does that mean? This was never touched on during the election season...and I wonder what and/or who will lead this charge in 2017 and forward," the reader wrote.
The Huffington Post's Jeffrey Young and Jonathan Cohn this week wrote Trump's language on modernizing Medicare sounds in line with reform ideas GOP has had for the program in the last 20 years. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) has historically championed the idea of privatizing Medicare but Cohn and Young cite a 2015 Trump interview in which he states he is "not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid."
However, with Trump not filling in details during his campaign and few details on what "modernizing Medicare" or how a GOP-led Congress could tackle Medicare, it will have to be seen what legislative plan actually materializes.