Donald Trump’s election combined with continued Republican control of Congress creates uncertainty for the U.S. health care economy that has no recent parallel. Digital health companies and digital health investors are undeterred. Many push forward by focusing on long-standing patient needs and efficiency challenges that any administration will need to tackle.
Healthcare is highly regulated, the federal government pays for half of it, and were are in the midst of a major reform launched by President Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2010. Now new hands are on the tiller, and they promise a sharp turn to starboard, but as of yet they not have plotted a comprehensive and coherent course. The Kaiser Family Foundation, IMHO one of the best resources for understanding U.S. healthcare, posted a distillation of President-elect Trump’s declared positions on healthcare after the election. What does he intend to do beyond repealing the ACA and replacing it with something “much better”? KFF distills Trump’s declared intentions into six points, summarized below:
• Health insurance: Trump would completely repeal the ACA including the mandate for individuals to have insurance coverage and for insurers to cover them regardless of pre-existing conditions. Instead, he would create high risk pools for individuals with expensive pre-existing conditions, and, in lieu of premium tax credits, Trump would provide a tax deduction for the purchase of individual health insurance. He would seek to keep individuals’ costs down by allowing insurers to sell plans across state lines, increasing competition which should reduce premiums, and by increasing use of tax-advantaged Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) which incent consumers to shop for the best prices for healthcare.