Now that a new presidential administration has taken power in the White House, and there is a Republican controlled Senate and House of Representatives, expect to see many changes in public policy. Public health policy also stands to see many new adjustments as new, more conservative lawmakers have the power to deliver big promises to their constituents. What the people of this country want are more affordable care options and easier access to medical providers. Here are six trends that the new administration may bring into the arena of public health policy.
- Obamacare Replacement
The first order of business for the current administration is to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. At first, this administration was determined to take quick action and rid the country of this piece of legislation. More recently, people around the nation have been advocating more for changes to the law instead of an outright repeal. The result has been that lawmakers have decided to take some more time to think about what they will do to replace Obamacare. It’s expected that Obamacare will be repaired more than repealed.
- Prescription Drug Competition
Another possible trend that may start happening with the new administration is an increase in prescription drug competition. Many people in this country continue to be frustrated by paying outrageous prices for life-saving medications. Expect to see more regulations loosened over the next four years, which could open up the prescription drug industry to newer innovations and more competition. This way, prices could be lowered by the competitive market conditions.
- Insurance Sales Across State Lines
The Trump administration and the Republican congress is also considering an idea that would allow insurance companies to sell policies across state lines. This way, instead of having to rely solely on your employer for health insurance or choose a plan from a limited number of options offered by the state you live in, you could access more of a nationwide network. At USC Online, students studying for an advanced degree in public administration examine these potential policy decisions that could benefit public health.
- Health Savings Accounts
There’s also the possibility that the administration will expand the power of the health savings account. Health savings accounts allow workers to allocate funds to health expenses each year. The benefit of these accounts is that you don’t have to pay taxes on the income you designate as going into your health savings account. The new administration may take on companies that offer these accounts and see how to bring more of the benefits to consumers.
- High-Risk Insurance Pools
The new administration has aimed to repeal the pre-existing conditions clause of the Affordable Care Act. This would mean that consumers with some sort of health condition could struggle to get health insurance coverage. To deal with this, expect to see the introduction of a new type of insurance product, a high-risk insurance pool. Those who are studying for public health degrees at USC Online right now can influence how these policies are implemented.
- More Telemedicine Options
The final big trend that could be seen more often in the near future is an increase in the accessibility of telemedicine. Telemedicine companies offer medical care over the phone or through video chat services. Public policy leaders want to see more of this type of service to help lower the overall cost of healthcare across the nation and make it easier to get care.
In today’s world of evolving public health policy, expect to see some changes that could impact the cost of services and medications. Eventually, the hope is that care will be more affordable and the nation will experience better care and have a healthier outlook.