Experts assess Trump’s 7-point healthcare plan
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump laid out a seven-point healthcare plan that calls for, among other things, repealing Obamacare and making individuals’ health insurance premium payments fully tax deductible.
We asked industry insiders to detail and analyze each component of his plan. Here are the seven key elements of Trump’s plan and what our insiders are saying:
1. Repeal Obamacare, including the individual mandate to purchase insurance.
“A Republican repealing the ACA [Affordable Care Act] is no surprise,” says Paul Johnson, CEO of Redirect Health. “It may be less politically appealing to the base, but from a market standpoint keeping the Affordable Care Act and amending it with free-market approaches seems a more favorable approach. And while a free-market approach is better, we did not have a free market in healthcare before the ACA.”
According to William Hoagland, former staff member and director of the Senate Budget Committee, Trump’s proposal could backfire on health plans.
“By eliminating the Obamacare mandate and means-tested, financial support to purchase health insurance, but requiring insurers to cover individuals with pre-existing conditions, guarantees higher costs for private insurance or major increases in Medicaid expenditures,” he says.
No safeguards for lower-income families and patients with pre-existing conditions means that up to 26 million Americans could lose access to healthcare, with higher premium costs, says Managed Healthcare Executive Editorial Advisor Joel Brill, MD, chief medical officer, Predictive Health LLC.
Joseph M. Mack, MPA, of Joseph Mack & Associates, a managed care and value-based consultant, says that some states have provisions limiting an insurer’s ability to use a pre-existing condition to exclude coverage by requiring a waiting period for newly hired employees to become eligible.
“Does Trumpcare supersede a state’s right to limit the use of pre-existing conditions?” asks Mack. “Individuals who are currently ‘off-exchange’ would likely not be eligible if they have a pre-existing condition.
“Trumpcare relies on market forces, including tax deductions, to limit costs of private insurance coverage,” Mack continues. “Medicaid funding would shift from the federal to state governments.”