Donald Trump has won the bid for 45th President of the United States of America. Now that the elections are over, healthcare providers are asking what will happen if President-elect Donald Trump issue a repeal of ACA (Affordable Care Act) and removes the Healthcare Marketplace? How will this affect substance abuse treatment and the people relying on subsidy to receive addiction treatment?
While the repeal of ACA will have many ramifications on health care in general, addiction recovery treatment may see a decline in covered services. Let’s look at three possible changes; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The Good: Price Transparency Between Service Providers
President-elect Donald Trump’s position on Obamacare is that it does not work. He plans a repeal of ACA on day one of his presidency. In its place, he proposes a series of reforms, following free-market principles. One principle he believes Congress must require price transparency.
“Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals. Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.”
This quote is from President-elect’s website declaring his position on healthcare. But what does this mean for substance abuse treatment? It means each substance abuse treatment provider will need to give a list of fees for treatments up front before a client agrees to services.
While this should be a normal practice, for many substance abuse treatment providers it is not. Shady recovery providers have hidden fees. Some do not show meals and transportation are not covered in the cost of treatment, among other things.
A reform targeting transparency in price of services is great for clients seeking help. For substance abuse treatment providers who have always practiced price transparency, this change will not affect normal business operations. But it may attract more clients as shady providers are forced to become transparent, highlighting the honesty of those recovery service providers who have always been transparent in their fees.
The Bad: Drug Bills and Free Market Drug Producers
Reporters’ speculation on what a repeal of ACA means for prescription drug bills has been in debate for more than a year. Pema Levy of the independent journal, Mother Jones, believes a repeal of ACA means many senior citizens could no longer afford prescription drugs. This could lead to havoc as people turn to illegal means to get their prescriptions, or worse yet, turn to heroin to manage pain. Many states do not have enough treatment centers to support the already overwhelming numbers of people addicted to heroin or other opiates and opioids.
President-elect Donald Trump plans to open a free market to drug producers. This means producers from foreign countries will sell reduced price prescriptions to citizens of the United States if those drugs meet health standards. It is his belief that by opening a free market prescription drugs will become more affordable regardless of insurance premiums.
In theory, this may work, but there is concern around monitoring the quality of the drugs being sold and who they are being sold to within the United States. Prescription drug tracking has helped reduce prescription drug abuse within states, but is not set up to watch between states or countries. An increase of mail-order drugs may mean an increase in drug abuse. Only time will show if this plan will help people afford prescription drugs or increase drug abuse.
The Ugly: Decreased Coverage for Substance Abuse Treatment, Acute-Care, and Pre-Existing Conditions
While there is much debate over Obamacare, one thing is clear- ACA required coverage for substance abuse treatment. This made it possible for more people to seek help for substance use disorders. A repeal of ACA may see insurance companies again refusing or decreasing coverage for substance abuse treatment, acute-care facilities, and pre-existing conditions. Add to this many people of low income cannot afford coverage and the repeal of ACA may see an increase in overdose deaths as people cannot get treatment.
President-elect Donald Trump plans to offset these possibilities by opening the sale of health insurance across state lines. By increasing competition, he expects to see more affordable health insurance options available to more people. He also plans to start tax-free Health Savings Accounts (HSA). The HSA accumulates without loss of funding at the end of the tax-year. This means what you save is what you get. He also plans to make the HSA transferrable to heirs without a death tax, so there is no loss in value of the savings should the primary account holder pass.
Probably the most important aspect of the HSA is it can be used for any member of the family. So, substance abuse treatment is within grasp of dependents too, not just the primary person on the insurance plan.
What A Repeal of ACA Means for You
While only time will tell how a repeal of ACA will affect substance abuse treatment, one thing is certain- you can afford substance abuse treatment. Regardless of the effects a repeal of ACA will have on insurance coverage, Northlake Recovery offers quality substance abuse treatment at affordable and transparent prices. We have payment plans and can help you apply for interest-free financing through M-Lend Finance. Call Northlake Recovery today at (561)-770-6616 for more information.