How Trump would change healthcare
By abolishing Obamacare—which Donald Trump vows to do—the health insurance industry and providers would be released from its numerous regulations.
According to information on Kaiser Health Foundation’s website, millions of people insured under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) policies, expansion of Medicaid eligibility, or through public subsidies could lose their coverage. In addition, the change would unleash large, economic, quality, and accessibility impacts upon individuals, communities, states, providers, and health plans, Kaiser Health Foundation reports.
“Individuals would lose coverage as subsidies disappear or are reduced dramatically,” says James Smith, MBA, FACHE, executive vice president, GE Healthcare Camden Group, Rochester, New York. “As insurers lose members, they will react as any business by attempting to grow market share and cut costs.”
Smith expects insurers to increase insurance premium prices to help absorb the cost of infrastructures built for a different model of healthcare and for a much larger population. “Because there would no longer be controls over benefits nor would there be limits on administrative costs and caps on profits, it could send premiums as well as out-of-pocket expenses skyrocketing,” Smith says.
Consequently, insurers would have to reallocate costs throughout their companies—forcing layoffs, consolidations, and ultimately bankruptcy for those who cannot change fast enough. “This cascade could lead to consolidation with greater concentration of both health plans and providers as they respond to a necessity to grow even larger and to do it faster to absorb decreasing membership across a set of fixed costs,” Smith says.
Now let’s take a look at how Trump's specific plans for healthcare could impact the industry.