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Health Care Reform Update—What’s Next?

April 24, 2017

After Congress pulled the ACA replacement, The American Health Care Act, what are the next steps the White House is taking to reform healthcare?

President Donald Trump has returned his legislative priority to healthcare reform, despite recently pulling the American Health Care Act (AHCA) for lack of support within his own party (See blog, “Republicans Pull American Health Care Act… What Happens Now?”). Trump has said that healthcare reform will be first on his agenda, before proceeding on to tax reform.

Why?

Trump stated recently, “We have to do health care first to pick up additional money so that we get great tax reform.” The administration has reported that his plan for a major tax overhaul is getting “bogged down” partly because of the party’s failure to pass the AHCA. Nonetheless he says healthcare reform could still save hundreds of millions of dollars.

“We’re saving tremendous amounts of money on health care when we get this done, number one, and most importantly.... we’re going to have great healthcare, and all of that savings goes into the tax,” Trump said.

How is Trump negotiating with the Democratic party?

There is talk that Trump is thinking about withholding $7 billion a year in cost-sharing reduction subsidies (paid to insurers to assist low-income individuals with out-of-pocket medical expenses) to get Democrats back to the negotiating table on healthcare, but for now it is just speculation.

The president and his administration have said that if healthcare reform does not start “fast enough,” they will start on tax reform.

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