Replacing Obamacare not an easy path for new administration
Dismantling Obamacare was a campaign promise that President Donald Trump intends to keep.
However, Republican lawmakers are finding that their options for an alternative plan are not easy to implement nor are they necessarily going to be politically popular, according to health policy experts presenting at the After Obamacare: The Future of U.S. Health Care webinar, sponsored by the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism.
Experts discussed the current state of affairs along with potential paths a repeal-and-replace effort could take, including the challenges of each option.
Joseph Antos, an economist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington, DC-based think tank, said Trump doesn’t care about the details of a repeal effort, because he harnessed the general angst about the program and promised to get rid of it. The specific policy details are of little concern as long as he can deliver on his promise.
There has been little to go on, other than his prior comments supporting children staying on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and insurance companies being banned from denying care to those with pre-existing conditions. The lack of specific policy ideas has pushed the details to the Republicans, primarily those in the Senate.
Further reading: Analyzing the financial impact of the 2017 Obamacare market
But Antos warns there are no real clues to be drawn from prior Republican replacement proposals, including one from Secretary for Health and Human Services nominee Tom Price, because the plans were designed to score political points more than anything, because none ever had a chance of getting past a veto by President Obama.
Currently, there are no options on the table, and the timeline for a possible replacement is now realistically expected to be February or March, Antos said.