Healthcare is the top issue Americans want Donald Trump to address during his first 100 days in the White House, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday, an apparent rebuke of outgoing President Barack Obama’s signature reform, Obamacare.
Some 21 percent of Americans want Trump to focus on the healthcare system when he enters the White House on Jan. 20, according to the Nov. 9-14 poll, conducted in the week after the Republican won the U.S. presidential election.
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But it is absolutely possible to craft a health-reform agenda that conforms to Trump’s core policy principles: (1) repealing and replacing Obamacare; (2) near-universal coverage; (3) lower health insurance premiums. As a bonus, these goals can be achieved by a plan that reduces federal spending, cuts taxes, and improves health outcomes for the poor.
Few would have predicted that Donald Trump could be a more successful health reformer than Barack Obama. But if he can get over a few important hurdles, it could very well end up being true.
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House Republicans and Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Thursday agreed on a plan to punt the government funding debate into early next year and begin preparations to repeal Obamacare.
Emerging from their meeting with Pence in the Capitol, House GOP lawmakers unified behind a continuing resolution that would extend government funding, set to expire on Dec. 9, through March.
“I think the main reason was the Trump admin had a desire to have an input on what’s in that spending bill when they take office,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) told reporters after the meeting.
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The main objective of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to increase enrollment in health insurance among those who were previously uninsured. Official estimates from the Census Bureau have consistently overstated the number of people who are uninsured. A major factor in the overestimate is the undercount of people in Medicaid. Also, millions of Americans have been officially uninsured despite their eligibility for public insurance or employer coverage. With the passage of the ACA, fewer than 10 percent of the remaining uninsured do not have a realistic path to securing health insurance. The future of the ACA is now uncertain, but any future policy changes will likely need to provide a sure path to insurance coverage for all Americans as well.
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