As Trump vows to deliver on his campaign promise, alarm bells are sounding throughout the country’s healthcare system. Some 12.6 million people have signed up for some form of Obamacare insurance, with an additional 7 million from the expansion of Medicaid and young people staying on their parents plan. Roughly speaking, that is 6.2% of the entire population of the US. It is these people along with hospital executives and insurance company bosses that are getting worried.
According to the L. A. Times, “Not a single major organization representing patients, physicians, hospitals or others who work in the nation’s healthcare system backs the GOP’s Obamacare strategy.” The most recent poll has established that far more of the American people wish to either expand, or keep the Affordable Care Act rather than repeal it.
With the nomination of 6 term Republican, Tom Price for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services, prospects for a rapid and potentially, disastrous dismantling of Obama have increased dramatically. Tom, formerly an Orthopedic Surgeon, is a staunch anti-Obamacare advocate. His previous plan, “Empowering Patients First Act”, would offer tax credits for younger, healthier people and would do nothing for “higher risk people” other than “encourage States to create pools” to assist them. Essentially meaning that the young and healthy will be incentivized to get health plans, while the older, less healthy or those with pre-existing conditions will be in a far more precarious position.
According to the Atlantic Magazine, looking at the demographics of Trump voters, 82% were white, 57% had no college degree and an astounding 42% were aged 50 or older. All of this combined with the fact that according to the Department of Health and Human Services, 42% of Americans are obese, extremely obese or have a pre-existing condition, and that obesity and PEC rates increase substantially in the heartland of America would create a situation where not only democrats would be damaged by this probable change. The likelihood is a large swathe of Trump’s own middle-America based supporters could find themselves up a certain (healthcare) creek, without a paddle. It is hard to rationalize a situation where the arriving administration’s first act is to shoot itself in the foot with throngs of its own supporters, but this appears to be an impending reality.
Conservative think-tanks like the Heritage Foundations are recommending a more considered approach. One in which a clearly visible path from one type of health coverage to another is well laid out and transparent to the general population. The Goodman Institute of Texas (R) pointed out that if taxes for the current system is repealed, where is the funding going to come from the current 20 million insured under the plan. The GOP has been silent on that question, adding to the general anxiety amongst the healthcare community that in fact believes there is no plan. Only time will tell whether Trump decides to act hastily on the ACA, or replace it at a more gently, well thought out pace.
Article written by Michael Williams, CEO, Global Healthcare IT. GHIT is a specialist provider of all types of healthcare IT Consultants and staff.
Michael can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.