The prognosis for the Affordable Care Act is looking dire.
President-elect Donald Trump promised to “immediately repeal and replace Obamacare” while he was campaigning, a promise that will at the very least put President Obama’s signature health care legislation in the ER. The law remains divisive in the country, with opinions equally split between 45 percent with favorable views of it and 45 percent who see it negatively, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
Health-services stocks took a dive on Wednesday morning, reflecting expectations from investors that a Trump presidency will deliver major changes to the law. Because the ACA has boosted demand for treatment, thanks to the additional 20 million Americans who gained health insurance as a result, its repeal could lead to sharply lower demand for health care and pharmaceutical services.
Yet it’s not clear that Trump will be able to completely erase the law because the Republican-dominated Senate will lack the 60 votes needed for a full repeal.
Obamacare “has clearly been a touch point for Republican campaigns across the country,” said Michael Moran, principal for global risk analysis at Control Risks, on a conference call to discuss the election results. “Repealing it is a very difficult proposition. Trump has been careful about talking about replacing it with something. It’s like, what is that something?”
He added: “The Democrats will dig their heels in.”
Still, it’s clear that Trump is going to challenge the law. Here are five questions about the future of Obamacare under the new president.
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