Bioethics Blogs

The Future of Health Insurance May Look A Lot Like Our Past

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

This week marks the transition of power from President Obama to President-elect Trump. One issue that has been high on Trump’s list of policy changes is a repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). The Republicans and Trump seem split in how to go about this. Some Republicans want to repeal immediately with a replacement to come in the future; others want to vote for repeal but have it take effect only after a replacement; Trump want both repeal and replace to happen quickly and simultaneously.

Last week, both Houses of Congress passed rules in a budget resolution that would permit the ACA to be repealed with only a majority vote rather than two-thirds. Thus, without any Democrat vote, they can repeal. While a lot has been said of the repeal part, not much has been said about replace. After 7 years of complaining and voting to repeal, the Republicans have not offered a plan. In fact, the ACA is based on an original Republican plan.

Just yesterday, Trump stated that his new plan would “provide insurance for everyone.” He also added that he wanted the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for prices on prescription drugs. During his campaign he put forth the idea of permitting people to buy insurance across state lines. But he has not put forth any specific plans. A new GOP advertising campaign says a new plan offers “more choices,” “Better care,” and “lower prices.” Again, the GOP Congress has not discussed any plan with the public or the press.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.