President-Elect Donald Trump vowed during his campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Then after winning, Trump said he just wanted to “modify” it. Now, Trump has nominated a staunch Obamacare critic to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, most likely signaling the end of the Affordable Care Act. But what can we expect to take its place?
Trump's Nomination Means Trouble For ObamaCare… What is the Future of Healthcare?
Since The Affordable Care Act passed, there’s been a constant debate over the plan’s merits, and whether Obamacare helps or hinders citizens. While there are more insured Americans than at any other time throughout U.S. history, many critics of the program insist it’s a broken system limiting options for Americans. Chief amongst those critics is Georgia Representative Tom Price, President-Elect Trump’s new Secretary of Health and Human Services.
This appointment by Trump should placate much of his supporter base, who have been angry with Trump for backing off big promises made during his campaign, such as building the wall between Mexico and prosecuting “crooked Hillary”. And while Trump backpedaled and said he would only modify Obamacare instead of repealing it, his new picks suggest Obamacare has run its course. What exactly is Tom Price likely to put forward?
Price, an orthopedic surgeon from Atlanta, has already introduced his own legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare not just in the current Congress, but the last three sessions, as well. Price calls his plan the Empowering Patients First Act, and now he’ll have the platform he needs to push it through. So what does the EPFA look like?
Price's major complaint about Obamacare is that it puts the government in the middle of the doctor-patient relationship. Price points to most Americans’ premiums going up, not down, and many Americans having fewer options and losing coverage as proof of this. His plans have focused on age-adjusted tax credits for the purchase of individual and family health insurance policies. Americans will soon be incentivized to contribute to health savings accounts.
Democrats have criticized Price’s nomination saying Price would remove programs which have given millions of “at risk” citizens access to safe affordable healthcare. Price’s solution is to offer grants to individual states to subsidize insurance for those populations who can’t afford it.
But the biggest change would be in the way people choose and purchase their plans. Under the current system, options are limited to insurance options within a person’s home state. Those costs may or may not be the best value for said person. However, that person is constrained by law and cannot look outside her state for other options. Under Price’s Empowering Patients First Act, Americans would be able to purchase the insurance plan which suits them best, regardless of to which state that plan belongs.
What could be the replacement for Obamacare? Watch this news report from CBS This Morning:
The nomination comes as no surprise. While many politicians criticized Obamacare with nothing to put in its place, Price is one who criticized the program and offered an alternative. And that alternative matches Trump’s healthcare promises very closely. The goal of the plan is to provide more stimulus to the economy. Donald Trump promised to allow individuals to fully deduct insurance premium payments from their tax returns, allowing everyone to afford insurance by allowing them to write off expenses and receive tax credits based on age. And if the EPFA mirrors Trump’s plans, Americans can also expect price transparency for services, allowing price shopping between hospitals and clinics to save patients money.
It all ties back to the economy for Trump, especially with his nomination of Tom Price.
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