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President Trump has "something special" on healthcare

28 February 2017

Last week the president stated that he will announce his repeal and replacement plan in the coming weeks and that his plan would offer better care at a lower cost to Americans.

After meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House early Monday, the CEOs of several large health insurers were optimistic about the future of the health insurance industry if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and replaced.

In their efforts to repeal Obamacare, Trump and the Republicans are seeking to do away with the few fig leaves of protection afforded by the ACA, such as subsidies and Medicaid expansion, to target Medicaid and ultimately Medicare-the health insurance program for the elderly and disabled-for cutbacks and privatization.

Dallas said the consequences would be "far-reaching" and "devastating" for people with Medicaid and would affect the bottom line of hospitals - especially rural hospitals - that have had to provide millions less in free care since the expansion. On the other hand, they report, numerous Trump advisers are concerned about the political fallout of blowing up the health-care system. During the meeting, Trump called the ACA's health insurance exchanges "disastrous", adding that the market is "going to absolutely implode". Under the first option, states could elect to "keep their Medicaid program open to new enrollees" and receive federal funding at the traditional matching rate, which ranges from 50 percent to 75 percent of state spending, rather than the ACA's enhanced rate. Some states might recreate Medicaid's current federal coverage guarantee though a state law. In return for the matching funds, states must meet certain requirements for coverage set by the federal government.

Trump said Monday that his administration will work to create a "smooth transition" from Obamacare to a GOP health care plan. "Those are the families who know health care is complicated". While Trump and many Republicans campaigned on the promise of getting rid of it, they have yet to coalesce around a clear plan to make it happen.

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"It's an unbelievably complex subject", Trump told the nation's governors gathered at the White House.

As for one group the President has described as an enemy - the national news media - 18% of all Americans and a third of Trump voters agree with him. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, for example, is publicly lobbying the Trump administration to preserve Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

"We look forward to seeing what the president has to say tomorrow night".

To quote the February 7 edition of the New York Times, "A sizable minority of Americans don't understand that Obamacare is just another name for the Affordable Care Act". Quite likely Trump believed this himself - as a committed nonreader, and a narcissistic devotee of his own negotiating prowess, he surely believed that he could broker a deal that would satisfy both the moral objective of universal coverage and the specific ideological hang-ups that had prevented his party from ever supporting a plan that would accomplish it in the past.

Other GOP governors, including Rick Scott of Florida, have advocated a full repeal of the law.