The New White House Website Launched with No Mention of Healthcare
The top six issues on the site include energy and jobs, but no health coverage.
Healthcare has been an essential part of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act—i.e. Obamacare—won him support across the GOP.
So it comes as somewhat of a surprise that healthcare is nowhere to be found on the newly launched Whitehouse.gov website. It's not one of his top six issues, which spans jobs and energy, nor did Trump mention access to affordable health coverage in his inaugural speech.
It's nearly impossible that this will remain the case much longer. Whether it is Trump or his new colleagues Paul Ryan and Tom Price, health care will indeed make its way back into the limelight, both online and on the Hill. It is one of the single most polarizing issues in Congress, and an inefficient health system is one of the biggest drains on the economy: we spent $3 trillion on health in 2014, but have worse life expectancy and chronic disease rates than many other developed countries.
The Affordable Care Act was meant to be former President Barack Obama's signature move toward universal access to insurance coverage. It was flawed, it was complex, and it had a rocky start, but it was the country's first holistic attempt at reining in premiums and debt for even the sickest Americans. And while many people have paid more for their insurance than ever since its launch, we would have paid a much higher price without it.
Repealing the ACA, meanwhile, will cost the country up to $353 billion in less than 10 years. And it's unclear whether Trump and his party have a clear plan as to how to extend coverage to those 20 million people who have health insurance because of the law.
Meanwhile, in an earlier meeting after his election in November, Trump told Obama that he would keep some essential parts of the law, including the clause that doesn't allow insurance companies to charge people with preexisting conditions more for their coverage. The newly elected president has also claimed he will bring down high drug prices by requiring pharmaceutical companies to work with Medicare and Medicaid, two government health programs that are meant to offer health insurance to low-income and elderly Americans.
It's hard to predict what kind of healthcare system Trump is imagining for the country, especially when the mere mention of its existence is absent from the new White House website. For now, we'll have to just follow his tweets.
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