First reactions to a Trump presidency and what it means for the ACA

Donald Trump speaks at a February campaign rally in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo credit: DonaldJTrump.com)

In what’s already been a turbulent, evolving regulatory landscape for the healthcare industry, Republican candidate Donald Trump’s pending presidency has experts saying the Affordable Care Act was doomed from the start. Others are already repositioning their portfolios to hedge against future uncertainty.

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Michael Trilli

Michael Trilli, senior analyst at Boston, Massachusetts-based Aite Group, said as part of a statement emailed to FierceHealthPayer that aside from rolling back the ACA, a "chief objective for his first 90 days, Trump’s election could be a boon for health saving account players, as this product and its tax-free implications and inclusion into an individual’s estate could draw more young individuals to the product, similar to the 401(k) model.” 

Christine Grow, senior vice president of communications at America's Health Insurance Plans, released a statement this morning. "Every American deserves access to affordable health coverage. A competitive private market can deliver more choice, higher quality and lower costs," she wrote. "We will work across the aisle--with every policymaker and the new administration--to find solutions that deliver affordable coverage and high-quality care for everyone."

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Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, said in a statement sent to FierceHealthPayer this morning, "with the election now behind us, we must pivot from politics to governance." AHA's priorities--ensuring access to coverage, preserving sufficient resources for healthcare, protecting patients' ability to get coverage--remain unchanged, Pollack said.

The group, which has the membership of 5,000 hospital, health systems, and similar health organizations strong, looks forward to "working with the new Administration and Congress on the nation's healthcare challenge." This dedication to communities and constituents is "why we work in a bipartisan manner in advancing our agenda," Pollack said, adding that healthier communities is a "goal everyone can support."  

Rita Numerof, Ph.D., a healthcare consultant based out of St. Louis, Missouri, told FierceHealthPayer in an emailed statement this morning that the critical flaw in President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform law is narrowly prescriptive regulations that tweaked the industry’s focus from care delivery to compliance with rules passed down from Washington, D.C.

Rita Numerof

“What we need moving forward is a market-based model that promotes competition and increased value at lower cost, like in most industries. Fee-for-service provider reimbursement, disconnected from outcomes that matter, needs to be put out of its misery in favor of bundled payments and other approaches that link costs to outcomes,” Numerof said.  

Ana Gupte, Ph.D., a healthcare analyst at Leerink Partners, wrote today that “the unthinkable has happened.” UnitedHealth Group is well-positioned to weather the storm of volatility due to a highly diversified portfolio of business segments, she wrote, including its growing Optum pharmacy benefits manager subsidiary.

Humana could benefit from privatization of Medicare and Medicare Advantage programs. Given its international business lines, Cigna also looks like it will “remain defensive” from a trader’s perspective.

Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, expressed less certainty today that Trump’s presidency and a Republican sweep of Congress would mean the ACA is gone for good, echoing what University of Pennsylvania panelists said a few weeks before the election: Powerful pharma and insurance companies have too much at stake for the ACA to get completely repealed.

Watch this page for updates and stay tuned to FierceHealthcare.com as we continue to bring you news, reactions and updates to this important story.