President-Elect Trump Selects Tom Price of Georgia For “Trumpcare” Cabinet Position
The President-Elect announced on Tuesday his selection for Secrtary of HHS, also known as Health and Human Services. The individual who fills this position will largely influence how Americans obtain healthcare within the USA for the next four years, or longer.
Tom Price as the section is not a surprise, as Dr. Tom Price, Representative for the state of Georgia, and a former orthopedic surgeon, has consistently been a fierce critic of Obamacare, and has called for moving quickly to shut-down parts of the law through the budget reconciliation process. Price is expected to have his own proposal for healthcare reform, it is however believed that what he and the Trump administration end up moving forward with, will be very similar to Paul Ryan’s “Better Way” proposal. It should be noted that until finalized plans have been fully committed to, everything that we can report on, nor anyone else can report on with respect to what “Trumpcare” will offer Americans, as of today is still speculation. We will continue to update Trumpcare.com on a daily basis with factual information.
With respect what Americans should be doing with respect to their healthcare options for the next 12 months, nothing has changed, and most likely nothing will change in a material way, for six months or more. Much of what President-Elect Trump has proposed on the campaign trail and since the election, will take, as the expression goes, “an act of congress”.
So what should you do if you’re now in a position where you have to find a new healthcare plan or face the tax penalty? First of all, you should always be insured. Not having health insurance coverage is literally gambling with you and or your families future. Medical debt is what forces most Americans into bankruptcy. You don’t need to get cancer to end up with $500,000 in medical debt. A car accident, an accident at work or at home can lead to major surgeries and massive expenses.
Your best course of action, is to simply shop for an affordable health insurance plan now, enroll in a plan that you can make work, and then when President-Elect Trump’s healthcare reform plan fully goes into effect, your options may prove to be better. At that point you can switch to something else, but until then, don’t risk your life and happiness while the politics play out.
Post Election Update Regarding Trumpcare
On Nov. 8, Donald Trump was elected President of the U.S. and while Republicans are cheering in victory, millions of people across the country are now wondering what the future holds – especially when it comes to their health insurance. Under President Obama, the Affordable Care Act granted access to health insurance for people who didn’t have it before. Low-income families, young adults still living at home and people with pre-existing conditions gained affordable coverage for the first time. President-elect Trump has vowed to repeal and replace the ACA, leaving many to wonder what will happen to their health insurance in the aftermath.
What is Trump’s plan for Obamacare and Trumpcare?
For starters, Trump has promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Over the last six years, the ACA has made it possible for people from different walks of life to find and buy health insurance in a new way. To his credit, Trump has also promised to take care of people “better than they’re taken care of now.” Details on this promise have yet to be released. How Trump envisions taking care of people without a health insurance mandate, or put another way, requiring everyone to have health insurance, remains to be seen.
In a nutshell, here are Trump’s proposals for replacing the ACA:
- Completely repeal the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate that requires people to have health insurance.
- Allow the sale of health insurance across state lines.
- Enable individuals to deduct health insurance premiums from their taxes, a practice that businesses are already able to do.
- Enhance and promote Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for individuals who want to set money aside for health care. HSAs would become more robust under Trump’s plan.
- Require medical providers and health care professionals to provide clear pricing to consumers so that people have the chance to shop around for the best deal.
- Convert Medicaid’s current match funding program to a block-grant program.
- Allow consumers to purchase prescription medication from out of the United States, provided that they’re safe and meet U.S. guidelines for prescriptions.
Much of Trump’s health care plan centers on the free market. There would be no mandate to buy health insurance, and as far as has been proposed, no tax subsidies to make health insurance affordable for people who can’t buy coverage. Some of these proposals seem beneficial, but for the 20 million Americans who have gained coverage since the passage of the ACA, Trump’s proposal to repeal Obamacare entirely is worrisome.
What happens to my insurance if the ACA is repealed?
It’s unlikely that Trump will simply scrap Obamacare altogether as he promised to do on his first day in office. There are politically advantageous reasons for keeping certain aspects of the law in place. Instead, the new administration will likely rework key features of the current health care law to make it virtually unrecognizable. The difference might seem like splitting hairs, but undoing a law like the ACA requires greater political maneuvering than simply tossing it aside and starting over.
Another issue to keep in mind is that repealing the ACA will be very difficult considering that Trump and his Republicans do not have a Supermajority in the Senate, which means they don’t hold 60% of the votes to pass anything they want. This also means that the Democrats can protect the ACA by voting again for a repeal.
Hypothetically though, if Trump were able to scrap the entire law sometime next year, here are a couple of things that you could expect to happen:
- Your current premiums might go up, especially if you receive tax subsidies to offset the cost. There won’t be tax credits to make insurance less expensive. For example, if your current family plan costs $350 a month with $400 in subsidies, then the total cost would now be the full $750 a month.
- Because there’s no mention of the 10 essential benefits that currently exist under the ACA, your coverage could change dramatically. You could pay more for certain services, like preventive care or hospitalization.
- If you have Medicaid, then you may lose this coverage in states that opted to expand medicaid under Obamacare. Trump wants to fund Medicaid through block grants, which could affect the amount of money that each state has to spend on the program.
You will probably have to make some adjustments – and pay higher premiums – but there may be upsides to Trump’s proposals as well. Clearer pricing could help you to make better decisions about where to receive treatment, and enabling overseas drug companies to compete in the U.S. market may help to drive down prescription costs.
Changing Obamacare could be easier with a Republican Congress, but the backlash from forcing 20 million people to lose their health insurance could keep Trump from following through on his promise to throw out the ACA. In any case, it’s extremely unlikely that you will simply lose your coverage in the middle of a plan year.
Should I bother signing up for 2017 coverage?
In light of 2016 election results, you may be tempted to avoid signing up for health insurance for 2017. With a Republican at the helm – and one who appears to be focused on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act in its entirety – it seems likely that there will be substantial changes made to the health care law over the next four years. However, it’s still important to enroll in a health insurance plan. In fact, it’s probably more important now than ever to do it while you can.
Under the ACA, you’re guaranteed coverage for certain things, like preventive care, surgery and prenatal services. You can’t be denied a plan because you have a pre-existing condition, and your insurer can’t drop your coverage without a good, clearly defined reason. There are also limits to your out-of-pocket costs. Premiums are cheaper for most people thanks to subsidies. In short, there are benefits to having health insurance that go beyond simply being able to pay for medical care.
These benefits may change under a Trump presidency, but Trump will not assume the role of president until the end of January. It will take time to repeal and replace the ACA, if it happens at all during his first year as president. Now is the time to enroll in an affordable health insurance plan, while the marketplaces are still open and tax credits are still available. Open enrollment lasts until Jan. 31. Sign up now to secure coverage for yourself and your family in 2017. If you choose not to enroll during the 2017 open enrollment period, you may spend the entire year without coverage and the ability to enroll again. That will be catastrophic if you or a family member in your household finds themselves in the hospital, facing mounting medical bills that you are now responsible to pay personally.
Yes, it is true that the longterm future of the ACA as we have known it for the last several years is uncertain, but what is certain is that people need health insurance to get healthier and to stay healthy so if you want coverage at all during the 2017 calendar year, you must enroll during the open enrollment period, which started on November 1st and ends on January 31st.
You must enroll by December 15th to have coverage starting on January 1st.
This website is dedicated to providing factual information about the proposed healthcare reform of presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump, and what has been called by various individuals and media sources as Trumpcare. In no way is this website connected to, or controlled by, any political party, political figure, PAC, or Donald J. Trump. The sole purpose of this website is simply to provide factual, unbiased information about Donald J. Trump’s proposed healthcare reform policies. This site will be continually updated with information as it becomes available.
Donald J. Trump released more details of his healthcare reform plan, which many have coined as Trumpcare, on March 3, 2016 to, in his words, “Make America Great Again. Trump explains that he wants to add free market principles to his healthcare plan that will bring economic freedom and security to America and that his overall goal, according to his website, is to “broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans.”
At the close of Mr. Trump’s written proposal for healthcare reform, he states that he may consider and adopt other ideas so long as it brings down the overall costs of medical coverage to Americans.
We provide a detailed analysis of his seven-point plan for healthcare reform below.
Trumpcare Seven Point Healthcare Reform Plan
Step 1: Repeal Obamacare
According to Donald J. Trump’s website, the Affordable Care Act, which is also known as Obamacare, must be repealed in its entirety. He states that he will call on Congress to get this done on day one of his presidency. This complete repeal would also include the individual mandate that requires every American, unless they are excluded for a specific reason, to have health insurance coverage that meets the minimum essential required benefits or pay a tax penalty. According to the statement on Trump’s website, no individual should be forced to purchase health insurance if they do not want it.
Step 2: Allow Insurance Carriers to Sell Health Insurance Policies Across State Lines
According to the information published on his website, Donald Trump believes that if insurance carriers were permitted to sell individual plans across state lines, provided they comply with each state’s individual requirements for coverage, the increased competition within each state would result in a more competitive marketplace and overall lower costs for consumers seeking health insurance.
Step 3: Health Insurance Premium Costs Should Be a Tax Deduction
Mr. Trump believes that an individual or family should be allowed to deduct the total costs of their monthly premiums (the monthly payment required in order to have active health insurance coverage) from their annual health federal income taxes. He reasons that if an employer offered health insurance to its employees, those costs would be a deduction to the company so it should work the same for individuals and families.
As part of this step, Donald Trump also presents that we should review Medicaid (insurance for lower income families) and make sure that states offer coverage to those who want it. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid was only offered to pregnant women, children, elderly and disabled individuals and parents in specific circumstances. Medicaid did not cover low income adults though until the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was passed. A full repeal of Obamacare would obviously undo the Medicaid expansion as well. Donald Trump’s healthcare reform plan, Trumpcare, does not specifically explain whether he would keep any expansion of Medicaid, only that the plan needs to be reviewed.
Step 4: Allow people to use HSAs to pay their out-of-pocket health costs
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are savings accounts that are personal to the individual but can be funded not only by the individual, but also an employer. Donald Trump proposes that all individuals should be allowed to open an HSA. Presently, the IRS only allows certain individuals to open HSAs. Those people are:
- People who have a high deductible health plan (HDHP) meaning that your plan has a higher annual deductible than most;
- Those who have no other type of health insurance coverage;
- Those who are not enrolled in Medicare; and
- Those who cannot be claimed as a dependent by someone’s tax return for the preceding year.
Another restriction places on HSAs by the IRS presently is that HSAs may not be shared among family members. Every person in the family covered by a high deductible plan must have their only HSA.
Step 4 of Trumpcare stipulations that HSAs would be readily available to anyone who wanted to open one, meaning he would remove the IRS’ requirements, they could be shared among family members and passed on to heirs upon the HSA owner’s passing. Most importantly, Donald Trump would not disturb the characteristic of HSAs that makes them tax-free if the funds are used for medical expenses. Furthermore, if a person included the HSA funds in their estate upon passing, the money in the fund would pass to their heirs without being subject to any state or federal estate or death tax.
Mr. Trump anticipates that offering HSAs to all Americans would be particularly attractive to young people who would rather put money away into an account, tax-free, to accumulate over the years and pay the cost of a high deductible health plan that they may hardly use because they are healthy instead of getting a more expensive plan from the beginning.
Step 5: Price transparency from healthcare providers
Trumpcare’s fifth step states that Mr. Trump would demand that healthcare organizations like hospitals and rehab centers and healthcare providers like doctors must reveal the full costs of their services so that people can shop around for the best price, presuming they have multiple choices under their health insurance plan.
Although Donald Trump does not supply further explanation or rational, the concept behind this step is akin to the free market principles he wanted to inject into his healthcare reform.
Step 6: Stop federal financial Medicaid grants to the states
Another principle at the heart of Mr. Trump’s healthcare reform is the fact that we will save money used to fund public health programs like Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) if we improve the economy and provide Americans with more jobs.
Presently, the federal government jointly funds the Medicaid program with the states. States receive funding from the federal government for the Medicaid program in several ways.
First, they receive a Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage for every dollar spent by the state on Medicaid expenses. At the bare minimum, the state will receive $1.00 from the federal government for every dollar the state spends.
Second, if a state chose to expand Medicaid eligibility under Obamacare, the federal government will reimburse the state 100% of the additional costs incurred by the state for those newly eligible citizens until 2016. The reimbursement amount to the state decreases over the years until it hits 90% in 2020 according to the law.
Third, if a hospital serves a large number of Medicaid and uninsured patients, they will receive DSH payments or Disproportionate Share Hospital payments, from the federal government. This money makes up for the amount of money that the hospitals are not receiving for the services they provide to Medicaid and uninsured people in their state.
Fourth, a state may apply funds from other buckets of general funds to the Medicaid program.
Unfortunately, Donald Trump’s healthcare reform plan on DonaldJTrump.com does not specifically explain whether he would rid the Medicaid program of all of the federal aid outlined above, but he does state that he wants the control and management of the Medicaid program to stay in the hands of the states that know their people the best. He states that if the authority to manage Medicaid is with the states alone, they will have the incentive to eliminate fraud and financial waste. Presumably, this is due to the fact that the states would be funding Medicaid entirely on their own so they would be more protective and watchful of where the money is going.
Step 7: Remove barriers for drug providers
Trumpcare’s final proposed step to bring healthcare reform that will lower healthcare costs for Americans is to remove restrictions on drugs providers that would allow them to offer their brand and generic prescription drugs to the free market for a lower cost.
Mr. Trump admits that this step will require Congress to end their alliance and allegiance to special interest pharmaceutical groups. Donald Trump believes that allowing Americans to shop for and purchase and import pharmaceutical drugs that are safe and reliable from overseas companies will bring down the costs of prescription drugs across the board because it will increase competition.
Although not a specially outlined step of Trumpcare, Donald Trump closes out his proposal for healthcare reform by remarking that there are other ancillary initiatives that he is planning during his presidency that will have an effect on healthcare.
For instance, Trump believes that policies that enforce immigration laws and stop fraud and financial waste of the healthcare sector will improve the economy. Regarding immigration, Donald Trump states that providing healthcare to people who are in this country illegally costs the country $11 billion a year and immigration policies and more restrictions on visas will save a lot of that money.
Additionally, Donald J. Trump believes that there needs to be reform to our mental health programs and facilities. He states that there are currently initiatives in Congress that will help families who need information and access to assistance for their family members ailing from mental disease and that those bills should receive bi-partisan support.
We will continue to update this briefing of Trumpcare as more details are revealed and discussed.