The 2020 Presidential Election is in just 14 days. We’re looking toward what the future of healthcare may look like in the coming months and years in an effort to remain nimble in our service to patients and employers. Jeremy Schupbach, Proactive MD’s National Director of Strategy and Government Relations, is breaking down three things that employers should know about healthcare and the elections.
What could change about healthcare access under each party’s leadership?
The major parties have each laid out a vision for what healthcare can look like under their leadership over the next four years (and beyond). Both parties want to address the cost and affordability of care and of prescription drugs and to limit the power of healthcare corporations. Both parties want to stop “surprise billing.” Both parties want to expand access to care.
Each party has focused on a few points: For the Republicans, continuing the fight against COVID and finding a vaccine, covering pre-existing conditions, and providing care to veterans and Medicare and social security recipients top the list of the Presidential platform. The Democratic platform focuses on access to care through a new public option, investing in community health centers, and expanding tax credits and coverage to middle and low income Americans.
There are differences in approach and in the detail, but in the areas where both parties agree, we are likely to see changes to prescription drug programs and legislative and executive efforts to reign in pricing. Change around surprise billing and problems with insurance coverage and gaps would likely be on the table as well. COVID vaccines and treatment protocol will also advance no matter which party is in charge. These are areas where bi-partisan overlap indicates that some changes will inevitably happen.
More significant partisan changes will require months or years of debate and legislative process. A Republican administration will likely continue efforts to remove or defund elements of the ACA, while a Democratic administration will take incremental legislative steps toward policies and regulations in support of a public option. Should Democrats control both the House and Senate, policy changes may move more quickly than with a divided Congress.
What impact could the election have on my employee healthcare benefits package?
It is likely that employees will see changes to their benefits packages. Potentially, new regulations on pharmaceuticals and other limitations on plan structures will affect pricing and benefits, and it remains to be seen whether more consumer choice would come in the form of additional plan requirements, or an option that would be backed by a state or federal source. Healthcare coverage won’t be static – but how fast and how drastic the changes will come is not something we can predict until we have a sense of how the elections shape the political landscape.
Could policy changes affect employer-sponsored healthcare?
Yes, they almost certainly will. Changes to regulations; requirements; and mandates on coverage, limitations, and deductibles most likely will affect employer-sponsored plans. Both parties see these plans as a major component to ensuring access and coverage, so it’s reasonable to assume that policies will change in response to direction from state and federal guidance. We would expect that such changes would be somewhat incremental and take some time be to be introduced.
The results of the election will – without a doubt – shape healthcare in the coming 4 years. We will soon be able to get a sense of policy direction and as a result, employers and employees will see changes to the access and affordability of healthcare. Proactive MD is monitoring the election, has taken steps to help shape policy and legislation, and is committed to fighting for our patient promise through governmental affairs and legislative action. We know that direct care is extraordinarily valuable for patients, families, and communities – and just as we fight for each patient’s greatest good, we will also fight to ensure that the changes in policy and law continue to empower this care model, our clients, and our patients.
Proactive MD partners with employers to provide value-based Advanced Primary Care. We are only and always about the patient, and we promise to always fight for their greatest good. Contact us to learn more about Care Without Compromise.