Trumping The ACA: The Effect on Healthcare Staffing

donald-trump-1332922_640Throughout the entirety of his campaign, President-Elect Donald Trump’s message has centered on the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In one of the most unusual presidential races many have ever seen, Donald Trump’s victory continues to have rippling effects throughout American society and the world. As a self-proclaimed political outsider, Trump has certainly challenged the conventions of Washington, along with the expectations Americans hold for the President of the United States.

Claims throughout his campaign (as grandiose as they may seem to some) are now being dissected for their viability — whether Trump will stick to his fervent criticisms of the ACA remains unclear.

America, The Uncertain

The Affordable Care Act, fondly known as Obamacare, has been on the Republican chopping block for some time now. In a recent interview on “60 Minutes,” Trump illustrated his indecisiveness by saying “either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced …”

The President-Elect’s website currently reads: “The Administration recognizes that the problems with the US healthcare system did not begin with — and will not end with the repeal of — the ACA.” To many of his most steadfast supporters, this seems like a softening of the position held throughout the campaign, with Trump previously vowing to replace the law his first day in office.

The seamless phasing of nebulous positions with point-blank statements has definitely created the Trump campaign’s desired effect: No one, not even his supporters, are sure what to expect next.

Despite this relative uncertainty, Trump’s executive power could make repealing Obamacare almost as simple as the stroke of a pen. And yet as the president, Donald Trump cannot unilaterally ‘repeal and replace’ the ACA without considerable resistance from Senate Democrats, though he can interfere with its implementation.

Realistically, Obamacare is not something easily removed from the current healthcare system without also affecting Medicare expansion, coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, free birth control, and facilitating a switch to electronic health records on a national scale. Additionally, the ACA includes provisions for biosimilar drugs to compete with existing brands, allowing the US to reduce pharmaceutical costs by as much as $250 billion. However, what many have been wondering is how the Trump Administration could affect healthcare staffing and workers everywhere.

What Replace and Repeal Could Mean for Healthcare Staffing

Pharmaceutical and biotech stocks bounced upward, as investors anticipated relief from the intense scrutiny of drug prices. Meanwhile, hospitals and some health insurers that did well under the law saw their shares plunge. Considering physician staffing companies generally benefit from the paid volumes they get from insured patients, a lack of affordable healthcare might mean fewer people end up seeking medical attention.

Good for understaffed facilities, but not exactly ideal for healthcare job growth.

Of course, there are many other factors at play, but the recent drops in certain staffing and hospital company stocks might point to a range of undesirable outcomes.  With the looming possibility of a loss of Medicaid expansion, and the reversal of many value-based regulations promoting home health care, investors are weary.

Of course, much of Trump’s support has come from rural America, a demographic helped greatly by Medicaid expansion. To turn and hurt the people who have elected him to office doesn’t seem like a favorable decision for the President-Elect; an opinion of many who remain doubtful that a complete repeal of the ACA is plausible whatsoever.

Lack of detail aside, some of the major changes the Trump administration may implement include:

  • Permitting insurance plans to be sold across state lines to encourage competition;
  • Guaranteeing transparency for the prices of medical procedures and health care costs;
  • Promoting access to tax-free health savings accounts;
  • Altering the tax code to allow individual insurance premiums to be fully deductible;
  • Transforming Medicaid into a block-grant program for states;
  • Importing medication to create more competitive drug pricing.

With talk of Trump’s current intentions, Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period has already seen a surge of 300,000 newly selected plans following the presidential election from Nov. 9 through Nov. 11.

No matter what President-Elect Donald Trump decides regarding the Affordable Care Act, healthcare insurance, and its many subsectors are watching closely. Until then, the industry remains poised for any indication as to what could possibly come next.

Connor Smith

Connor Smith
Connor Smith is a marketing specialist for Track5Media, a company recently selected as a recipient of the 2016 Business of the Year Award in Central Pennsylvania.

Connor Smith

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  16. […] legislation remaining uncertain for the time being, no one is sure exactly what changes the Affordable Care Act will experience and how to prepare for the […]

  17. […] the President-elect Trump about to take office and the notion that Obamacare may be repealed, the healthcare industry outlook is uncertain. Even if Trump does not repeal the ACA (which would be a daunting task), there still […]

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