President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, during his campaign. According to his campaign website, “[o]n day one of the Trump Administration, [the Trump administration] will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare”. From there, the Trump administration plans to work to reform healthcare in the United States by issuing a series of reforms that “follow free market principles”. Trump is an advocate of an open market system, which he says will increase competitions and lower prices. During his campaign, he has stated that he would allow insurance companies to sell insurance plans across state lines to increase competition along with making premiums for individuals tax-free.
One main component of Trump’s healthcare plan is the use of health savings accounts, or HSAs. People would pay medical expenses with their own personal savings, which Trump hopes would allow young people who may not have many health expenses to be able to have high-deductible healthcare plans. People would be able to spend HSA money on family members who need it. During his campaign, Trump has said that he plans to require price transparency from all healthcare providers in hopes of lowering prices of medical procedures and exams. He also plans to remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers, stating the government’s special interests in the pharmaceutical industry as a barrier for free trade and lower prices.
While these plans to repeal Affordable Care Act were emphasized in his campaign for President of the United States, Trump has hinted at keeping some of Affordable Care Act’s policies since his win on election night. After meeting with President Obama, he said he is reconsidering his stance on repealing the Affordable Care Act, hinting that he would like to keep the policy that mandates insurers to cover people with pre-existing health conditions and the policy that allows children to be covered by parents into their mid-20s.
With regard to anesthesiologists and other health professionals, Trump’s new healthcare plans likely means many changes in reimbursement policies and other regulations in the near future. It is currently unclear how Trump specifically plans to change healthcare in the United States and the exact effect it will have on healthcare professionals. For the many anesthesiologists that rely on Medicare & Medicaid reimbursements, it will become increasingly more important to stay up to date on changes in Trump’s plan for healthcare reform.
If Trump does repeal the Affordable Care Act, many bi-partisan research companies project that millions of Americans will be without healthcare coverage for some time, leading to more emergency room visits and fewer routine checkups. As Trump finalizes his plan for healthcare in the United States, healthcare professionals are also advised to re-evaluate their own business models to ensure longevity amidst changes in the healthcare world.