The future of healthcare under a Trump administration

Donald Trump has selected Representative Tom Price, a Georgia Orthopedic Surgeon who chairs the House Budget Committee, to lead the charge to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Early next year Republicans will attempt to repeal Obamacare but the bigger fight will be over what will replace it.

With health care premiums and deductibles skyrocketing, and  Republicans in control of the White House and Congress, Obamacare will be reformed.

the question is to what extent? And how long will it take?

Tom Price as health secretary will have a lot of input.

“He’s the only one in congress who really understands medicine to the depth of having to try to figure out what you need to do to reform reform, newly appointed president of the California Medical Association Dr. Ted Mazer said.

Mazer says Tom Price and the White House will have to be thoughtful about the moves they make.

“Expectation is that they will make an action pretty soon, right after the congress convenes, that will say we are repealing [the Afordable Care Act],” Mazer said.

But replace will move more slowly beginning with low hanging fruit.

“There are a few things that can be done by the president by administrative order but a lot of the ACA changes will have to be done through Congress,” Mazer said.

But first the Republicans will have to coalesce around a consensus plan.

“What we’ve heard  so far is that they’re going to move to make changes affective approximately two years down the road, Mazer said.

Dr. Mazer says those changes will not impact consumers in 2017 but could in 2018 depending on what programs might be defended or if federal dollars for Medicaid become block grants.

“That could have a very negative impact on California so we’re concerned about that. California receives a lot of matching funds and block grants will limit the amount of federal monies coming in.”

This is where the democrats will draw a line — on Medicaid funding for the poor and Medicare for the elderly.

“We say to our Republicans who want to privatize Medicare, go try it, make our day.”

The Medicaid program is a major concern for California.

“If we see block grants moving forward — and there are many state governors who want that — that would be very harmful to the tune of billions of federal dollars for California’s medical program, that’s something we have to be very concerned about.”

Major reforms will need 60 votes in congress meaning eight democrat senators will have to be on board.

“They’ll be some trading,” Mazer said. “I think there are some democrats who realize that some things are just not working and down the road will be disastrous.

“For now the state exchanges remain in place but that could change if insurers continue to lose money and pull out instead of waiting for the next phase of reform.

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