Trump’s healthcare strategy: Keep 'em guessing

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Gage Skidmore
Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in D.C. (photo by Gage Skidmore)

While many industry experts speculate about the Trump administration's impact on healthcare, until the president-elect solidifies his evolving healthcare positions, it's still unknown whether it will be good or bad for healthcare.

In a small reader poll, MedPageToday asked whether the Trump administration will be good for U.S. healthcare. As of this morning, 36 percent of respondents said yes and 64 percent said no.

While it’s been less than a week since the election, Donald Trump has started to revise his healthcare strategy to more closely align with traditional Republican thinking, according to The Washington Post.

And in a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday night, Trump said healthcare is one of the top priorities he and Republican leaders agreed to in meetings last week.

Central to that question is what happens to the Affordable Care Act, which Trump promised on the campaign trail to repeal and replace. However, in the TV interview and in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Friday, he indicated he may be willing to compromise.

Trump may now be willing to keep a rule that forbids insurers to refuse coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions and supports allowing young adults to stay on their parents insurance policies until age 26. 

Whatever Trump eventually proposes, he and the Republican-controlled Congress need to act quickly, write Leemore S. Dafny, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, and Thomas H. Lee, M.D., chief medical officer at Press Ganey Associates, in the Harvard Business Review.

“We can ill afford a prolonged period of paralysis and debate,” they write. In a period of uncertainly, there is a real risk that healthcare companies and provider organizations will respond by pursuing mergers and acquisitions, which will eliminate competition, they argue.

Women are especially worried about the potential affect of policy changes on access to low-cost birth control. A threat from Trump to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, means healthcare services for women may be in jeopardy, according to Marketplace.