Trump likely to attack health care law quickly
After Trumpês repeated campaign promises to repeal Obamacare, which he called a disaster, doing so will likely be one of his first priorities. With both houses of Congress soon to be Republican, he may well be able to accomplish that goal.
It could be a question of degree. Outright repeal of a health care law that has been in effect for a few years is not so simple. Some early discussion has centered around getting rid of the federal subsidies that allow many people to pay the premiums for their health insurance through the exchanges. Another possibility, according to an article in the Washington Post, is cutting some of the taxes that help pay for the law, such as the Medicare payroll tax.
Trump has said he wants to drop the mandate that every American buy health insurance but keep the requirement that insurers must insure anyone with a pre-existing condition. It would be hard, though, to pay for that provision without the payroll taxes or the universal insurance mandate. The Congressional Budget Office has said that repealing the law would raise the deficit by $353 billion in the coming decade.
The Senate will have just 51 Republicans not enough to overcome a Democratic filibuster. Many Democrats, and many interest groups, will fight hard for the current law. Trump will need the Democratsê help on other issues later; he may not want to squander all his goodwill too quickly.
During the campaign, Trump offered a couple of alternative ways to deal with Obamacareês goal of helping everyone get health insurance, without a universal insurance mandate: tax-free health savings accounts, and a change in the law to make health care premiums deductible on individualsê income taxes. Those measures could conceivably be enacted through executive rule-making, without the need for outright repeal and Congressional appeal, according to an article on NPR.
Expect much more on this topic as the start of the Trump adminstration gets closer. WANADA will follow developments in this area closely and will continue to keep members informed.Download Bulletin PDF