Elephants in the Room: What Is Next for Health Policy?

View Authors March 2017
Health policy in this country is a problem in search of a solution, and despite a current pause in actions, reform efforts will continue this year.  

No different than several chief executives before him, President Donald Trump began his four-year term with the ambitious goal of overhauling domestic health policy – this time, to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Working with US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), he agreed to a three-phase approach to repeal and replace the ACA. Last week, President Trump and Speaker Ryan decided to pull health reform legislation from consideration on the House floor; it remains unclear how the three-phase strategy will now be achieved and how the administration will negotiate with congressional Democrats and a fractious Republican conference to advance reforms. We anticipate several potential paths forward, including actions involving repeal and replace legislation, bipartisan opportunities in reauthorizations of current programs, appropriations activities and executive branch actions.