It's hard to predict what President Donald Trump (yeah, I said it) will do when he takes office. The newly elected GOP candidate has not spent much time outlining specific policies or plans for the future.
But Trump has hinted at some concrete actions he will take regarding science and technology—and with a Republican-controlled Congress, it's very likely he will be able to push at least some of these executive decisions forward.
Here are areas to watch carefully starting next year.
Trump has repeatedly vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which was created to extend both government-subsidized and private health insurance to all Americans. He wants to replace it with free-market health care, in which Americans buy from private insurance companies.
It will be important to track health insurance premiums—i.e. how much you pay for health insurance, if you have it—over the next four years, as well as government health programs like Medicaid. Decisions on Obamacare will also influence the price of drugs, the practice of medicine, and reproductive health.
Read More: Trump vs. Clinton on Health
Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA, a government agency tasked with protecting the environment through regulations, will be threatened under the Trump administration. Trump has said he wants to eliminate the EPA altogether, and repeal many of their actions, including measures to protect clean air and water.
Given that he doesn't openly acknowledge or accept climate change science, this will likely be a huge issue in the coming term.
Read More: Trump vs. Clinton on Environment
Trump has vowed to "cancel" the Paris Agreement, an international pact to lower our global temperature by turning to alternative energy sources and curbing carbon emissions. Any changes he makes to the US role in the agreement will have strong global impact.
Read More: What the Paris Agreement Means for Big Oil
At a recent Florida rally, Trump promised to restore space jobs that were lost when Congress cut NASA's budget in 2011. He said he will refocus the space program's focus on space exploration. Trump has also expressed interest in the private space sector.
Read more: Trump Promises Florida Yuuuge Space Jobs
The TPP is an international trade deal that could establish American influence in the Asia-Pacific and impact drug prices and copyright protections. It is also one of the most contentious trade policies of our time. Trump has resolved to cancel the partnership.
It's a little too early for us to speculate about how Trump will handle other key issues that we hold dear: cybersecurity, broadband, conservation, the list goes on. But for now, we know that these policies are on his radar, and we plan to keep a close eye on how they will unfold.
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