Thoughts on Healthcare Post Election

I must admit, I was so wrong on my prediction of yesterday’s election outcome that I was woefully unprepared to be asked the question, “What does a Trump Presidency mean to the healthcare industry and surgery centers in particular?” At about 11PM PST last night, when the result became inevitable, I started diving into everything I could read on the healthcare platform of Trump and the Republican Party. To say the least, much of this needs to get sorted out, but we do have some insights from what the candidate, what his party has said publicly and what pundits have theorized.

Here are some links that may hint at where we may be going in this new Administration:

  • It appears that Paul Ryan may be tasked with organizing the congressional movement to draft new healthcare policy, as described in his outline and full policy paper.  In general, this would appear to favor things such as:
    • Potential rollbacks of the individual and/or employer mandate for coverage
    • Expansion of Health Savings Account tax benefits to support higher-deductible plans
    • Capping tax exemptions for employer health benefits
    • Changes to tax credits for individuals without employer-based coverage purchasing on the open market
    • Funding shifts for Medicaid (Medi-Cal) programs
  • Trump may use executive actions to reverse defenses of the ACA’s subsidies to insurers and individual coverage mandate, and other policy objectives in his first days in office.
  • A Republican-controlled Senate could repeal provisions of the ACA via the Budget Reconciliation process, which would not require a 60-vote majority needed for an outright repeal of the ACA, and would likely not see a Presidential veto.
  • Still, some suggest he has some bridges to build with Republicans and it may take time to gain consensus before sweeping changes are put forward.

We will keep our ears to the ground as details emerge and will highlight challenges and opportunities that any forthcoming changes present for our industry.

David W Odell
President and CEO