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January 17, 2017

Trump promises 'insurance for everybody' as House moves forward on ACA repeal

Daily Briefing

President-elect Donald Trump in an interview over the weekend said he is nearing completion of a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would include "insurance for everybody," the Washington Post reports.

Trump's comments

In an interview with the Post, Trump said his administration's plan to replace the ACA is almost complete, saying it is "very much formulated down to the final strokes."

Trump did not reveal specifics about how the replacement would work or how much it would cost, but he said he does not want a single-payer health care system.

Trump said his plan would provide health care coverage "in a much simplified form." He suggested coverage would be "much less expensive and much better" under his plan.

"We're going to have insurance for everybody," Trump said. "There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can't pay for it, you don't get it. That's not going to happen with us," Trump said.

Trump also said he favors allowing the federal government to negotiate with drugmakers to achieve lower drug prices for Medicare and Medicaid. He said lowering drugs' prices would be a top priority for his administration.

Trump said his transition team is waiting to finalize the plan until after his HHS secretary nominee, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), is confirmed. According to Politico, the Senate Finance Committee has not yet scheduled a confirmation hearing for Price.

Trump said he is confident he can garner enough support to pass the plan once it is revealed.

"I won't tell you how, but we will get approval," he said.

Robert Costa and Amy Goldstein write for the Post that "the objectives of broadening access to insurance and lowering health-care costs have always been in conflict, and it remains unclear how the plan that the incoming administration is designing—or ones that will emerge on Capitol Hill—would address that tension."

Spicer: 'Insurance for everybody through marketplace solutions'

On Monday, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump's plan would not increase government's role in health care, but would improve access and reduce costs through increasing competition. Spicer said in an interview with NBC's "Today" that Trump plans to "to get insurance for everybody through marketplace solutions, through bringing costs down, through negotiating with pharmaceutical companies, allowing competition over state lines."

House passes budget resolution to begin ACA repeal process

Meanwhile, the House on Friday voted 227-198 to approve a budget resolution that initiates the process that would allow Republicans to repeal the ACA through via reconciliation.

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The budget reconciliation process allows bills related to spending and revenue to be passed in the Senate by a simple majority of at least 51 votes, without being subject to a filibuster. Republicans lack a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, but hold 52 seats in the chamber.

The budget resolution, which passed the Senate earlier this month, instructs two House committees and two Senate committees to draft and approve a budget reconciliation measure that would include provisions to repeal parts of the ACA. The resolution gives the committees until Jan. 27 to do so, although House GOP aides say the deadline is not binding.

(Cost/Goldstein, Washington Post, 1/15; Shear, New York Times, 1/15; Modern Healthcare, 1/16; Diamond, "Forty Five," Politico, 1/15; Everett/Haberkorn, Politico, 1/16; Master, The Hill, 1/15; Wong, The Hill, 1/12; Sherfinski, Washington Times, 1/12; Mershon, Roll Call, 1/12; AP/Modern Healthcare, 1/12; Wagner, "Post Politics," Washington Post, 1/16; Mershon, Roll Call, 1/12; AP/Modern Healthcare, 1/12; Mascaro, Los Angeles Times, 1/13; Modern Healthcare, 1/13; Peck, MedPage Today, 1/13; Weyl, Politico, 1/13; Kaplan/Pear, New York Times, 1/13; Seipel/Detrow, NPR, 1/15; Frieden, MedPage Today, 1/15; Morin, Politico, 1/15; Bolton, The Hill, 1/15)

5 must-have upgrades for the consumer-focused health system (with or without the ACA)

5 must-have upgrades for the consumer-focused health system

Failure to prepare for today's consumer-driven reality is a risky strategy in any market. Increased out-of-pocket costs, the improvement of price transparency tools, the emergence of meaningful alternatives to traditional care sites, and the weakening of the traditional patient-physician relationship have accelerated the growth of a consumer market.

Health systems that do not build real consumer loyalty are in danger of losing substantial share to new competitors. If they hope to grow, organizations must build long-term durable relationships with their customers. Check out this infographic to see five upgrades health systems should make to succeed in this new era of health care.

Download the infographic

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