UPDATE: President-elect Donald Trump has said, "[e]ither Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced," The Wall Street Journal reported. The Journal noted he likes the law's portions that prohibit coverage based on pre-existing conditions and that allow children to stay on their parent's policies until they turn 26. Many have noted the ACA is complex and many of its policies are interdependent so ACA reform may not be an easy case of keeping one policy versus scrapping another. Trump has signaled the ACA is one of his top priorities when assuming office. For now, without written legislation or policy, it's hard to speculate on what the impacts would be.
President-elect Donald Trump revealed few details about his healthcare agenda in a 310-word brief published on www.greatagain.gov.
During a meeting on Capital Hill yesterday, Trump revealed his top three priorities: Healthcare, immigration and jobs.
Trump has yet to provide greater detail regarding his plans for healthcare beyond repealing the ACA, although the brief acknowledges “that the problems with the U.S. health care system did not begin with – and will not end with the repeal of – the ACA.”
There are many questions about the future of healthcare now that Donald Trump has been elected president, but the brief released last week provides few answers. It does list certain points the Trump administration will focus on when it comes to healthcare. These priorities hint at policies that would limit abortion rights, reform the FDA, and transfer control of health insurance markets to states
It is unclear how far Trump and congressional Republicans will go to repeal the ACA. Legislation to achieve full repeal is possible, but it might be more likely that the ACA is dismantled through reconciliation and appropriations processes to cut spending to ACA programs, according to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers' report. A “benign neglect” approach would most likely prove fatal to the health reform law, Megan McArdle wrote for Bloomberg View last week.
Implementing certain reforms where details do exist could also be difficult, according to the PwC report. For instance, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices might be opposed by congressional members of Trump’s party.
Any amount of repeal and replacement or amendment policies will have a huge effect on healthcare. Healthcare organizations have spent a lot of resources implementing reforms under the ACA and they could find themselves spending more if significant reform is enacted, according to the PwC report. Even those who once denounced the health reform law, have likely learned to live with or even embrace it.