What a Trump Win COULD Mean for Healthcare

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 in News | 0 comments

My personal perspective is that all politicians lie and the closer you get to the election and the higher the office, the bigger the lies. This is in sharp contrast to my usual inclination to trust people and give them the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.

Thus, you must judge candidates by their past political performance. The problem is, Trump has no political past. So, here’s how I have been looking at the outlook under a Trump presidency.


This is not scientific at all, but illustrates that I believe he is very likely to effect change, but that it is equally likely to have a bad result as to have a good result, with a wide range of possibilities on both sides. (I could share my “Clinton Presidency Misery Probability” chart, which looked strikingly different, but that’s water under the bridge now.)

So, I’m choosing to be optimistic and focus on the right side of the chart and do whatever small things I can to help make that the future reality.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare) has always struck me as a law born of politically expediency and heavily influenced by special interests, with very little consideration for practical business logic or efficiency. While there are certain aspects of the ACA that I support, the system as it stands is not sustainable, so there is a real risk that we could backslide on achievements gained. Whether deserved or not, the vilification of the insurance industry deemed necessary to rally support for the ACA distracted many from the real problems. That, along with total failure to appreciate basic insurance principles and the complexity of healthcare insurance administration has led to the mess we are currently mired in. Perhaps Mr. Trump will bring a business perspective to the problem and be willing and able to stand up to the lobbyists with a vested interest in the status quo. The intricacies of healthcare insurance are such he will need to seek advice from unbiased, knowledgeable and skilled individuals, including actuaries, if we are to expect a sustainable replacement for the ACA.

This is why I am excited to participate (along with several other actuaries I’ve been privileged to work with) in the Actuarial Challenge from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation (http://challenge.actuary.org). Finally, a chance for the actuarial profession to step up and offer recommendations for meaningful change rather than sitting on the sidelines.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing.”
– Edmund Burke

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