Where Donald Trump Stands on Six Healthcare Issues

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Find out where President-elect Donald Trump stands on six healthcare issues, including insurance coverage.

While health care was not central to the 2016 Presidential campaign, the election’s outcome will be a major determining factor in the country’s future healthcare policy, according to a press release from the Kaiser Family Foundation. A number of issues have garnered media attention, including the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), rising prescription drug costs, and the opioid epidemic.

President-elect Donald Trump has laid out different approaches to addressing these and other healthcare issues. Central among these is his position to fully repeal the ACA.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports where Trump stands on the following six issues.

Health Insurance Coverage and Costs

Donald Trump supports complete repeal of the ACA, including the individual mandate to have coverage. In lieu of requiring insurers to provide coverage to everyone regardless of health status, he would work with states to create high risk pools for individuals who have not maintained continuous coverage. In place of refundable premium tax credits, Trump would provide a tax deduction for the purchase of individual health insurance. He would promote competition between health plans by allowing insurers to sell plans across state lines; an insurer licensed under the rules of one state would be allowed to sell coverage in other states without regard to different state laws that might apply. He would promote the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSA), and specifically would allow tax-free transfer of HSAs to all heirs. Trump would also require price transparency from all hospitals, doctors, clinics and other providers so that consumers can see and shop for the best prices for health care procedures and other services.

Medicaid

Donald Trump supports a Medicaid block-grant and a repeal of the ACA (including the Medicaid expansion). He has said he would cover the low-income uninsured through Medicaid after repealing the ACA. The House Republican Plan, which is part of a larger package designed to replace the ACA and reduce federal spending for health care, would offer states a choice between a Medicaid per capita allotment or a block grant.

Medicare

Donald Trump has stated that his Administration will act to “Modernize Medicare”. In the past, this term has been used to refer to proposals such as premium support and raising the age of Medicare eligibility. Mr. Trump supports repealing and replacing the ACA, which could affect the Medicare provisions included in the law, such as improved preventive and drug benefits and numerous Medicare savings proposals. On the issue of prescription drug costs, Mr. Trump previously supported allowing safe importation of prescription drugs from other countries, but this position is not currently reflected on his website.

Prescription Drugs

Donald Trump supports allowing importation of drugs from overseas that are safe and reliable but priced lower than in the U.S. He also supports greater price transparency from all health providers, especially for medical exams and procedures performed at doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospitals, but does not specify whether this policy would also apply to retail prescription drugs, which typically are not considered services or procedures.

The Opioid Epidemic

Donald Trump has said he will stop of the flow of illegal drugs into the country by building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and closing shipping loopholes that allow dangerous drugs to be mailed into the U.S. He would also enhance access to addiction services, end Medicaid policies that obstruct inpatient treatment, increase first responders’ access to naloxone, lift the cap on the number of patients that providers can treat with recovery medicines, and expand incentives for state and local governments to use drug courts and mandated treatment to respond to the addiction crisis.

Reproductive Health

Donald Trump has called for defunding Planned Parenthood if they continue to provide abortion and would redirect their funding to community health centers. He states he is pro-life but with exceptions when the pregnancy is a result of rape, incest, and life endangerment. Trump has promised to appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court that seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. He would also work to make the Hyde Amendment permanent law and sign the Pain-Capable Child Protection Act, legislation that would sharply limit access to later term abortions. He would also repeal the ACA, which would eliminate minimum scope of benefits standards such as maternity care in individual plans and coverage of no-cost preventive services such as contraceptives in private plans.

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