Who is Tom Price you ask? Well, in a short while, the current chair of the House Budget Committee most likely will become President-elect Trump’s new Secretary of Health and Human Services. The Michigan-native will soon play a vital role in the potential elimination of Obamacare and an entire shake-up of the health care landscape. The former physician will surely look to roll back the healthcare initiative and physicians should be aware of the soon-to-be-changing landscape.
Who is Tom Price?
The 62-year-old physician and politician from Lansing, Michigan ran an orthopedic clinic in Atlanta before turning to politics. He then became a member of the Georgia senate and would later become the Chair of the House Budget Committee. While Trump has continuously made controversial choices for his cabinet, Price is yet another nomination that has many people talking.
The Price is Right?
It remains to be seen how Tom Price and President-elect Trump will address the current healthcare initiative, but many assume that Obamacare will cease to exist in the near future. Price’s most recent bill, the Empowering Patients First Act of 2015, calls for giving refundable tax credits to those who buy policies in the individual market. The credits would be adjusted by age, ranging from $1,200 for those ages 18 to 35 to $3,000 for those ages 50 and up.
While Price, Trump, and many other cabinet members see these new regulations as a way to give tax breaks for those choosing a private insurance company, many lower and middle-income families fear that prices will rise and they will be unable to afford any sort of health insurance. Others argue that these new regulations will reduce the financial penalty for not having health insurance during tax season.
What Can Physicians Expect?
Although there’s no clear idea of what the future will hold, we know that Trump, and many other Senate and House members want to severely modify, or completely eliminate the Obamacare initiative.
Physicians might see a decline in patients who are on the Medicare or Medicaid plans and will instead see more patients opting to jump on the private insurance bandwagon.
Tom Price is a doctor, after all, so he should know how to implement a plan that keeps patients and physicians happy. Although he won’t solely be in charge of overhauling the current health insurance landscape, he will work with Paul Ryan and other members of the House to come up with a viable solution.