The 2016 Election's Impact on Healthcare

Lesley Khan- Farooqi
Posted by Lesley Khan-Farooqi, OTD, OTR/L, CHT, CLT-UE on 11/15/2016

As Americans allow the results from Tuesday night’s election to sink in, many of us in healthcare are preparing for the anticipated policy shifts. Donald Trump pulled off an astonishing victory over Secretary Hillary Clinton, surprising many Americans. There are changes projected, potentially impacting our $3 trillion healthcare system. These changes will most likely include a partial or full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, leaving uncertain coverage for the 20 million Americans who benefited from the law’s access to health insurance. This could affect the amount and way Americans pay for insurance premiums, coverage of services, out of pocket expenses and copays.

Less clear is whether the shift from fee-for-service to value-base care will be affected. While Trump has not yet provided a clear idea of his plan, from what he has revealed so far, it seems that it may still be a fee-for-service world. The new Quality Payment Procedures arose from the MACRA legislation, not the Affordable Care Act, and the expectation is that these changes will remain as published in the final rule at least for the next year.

Medicaid may also experience some changes due to the Republican majority, which could limit or end the expansion of Medicaid. This will impact the Americans who rely on Medicaid for health coverage.

In regards to the House and the Senate, Republicans will now have control over both in 2017. The Senate will now be at 52-48 Republican majority. Sixty votes are need to pass legislation in the Senate, which could slow down proposed changes. The House will be a 240-195 Republican majority, even with the Democrats picking up seven new seats at the election.

ASHT will continue to keep members informed of important issues that could potentially impact hand therapy practice. There has never been a more important time for our members to become actively involved! ASHT’s new advocacy portal will be up and running in early in January, which will make it much easier to communicate with your state and federal legislators, allowing you to “click to be heard” in Washington. Our profession needs you!