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Panthers and Policy Continuity or Change? Analyzing Public Policy During the Trump Administration

Florida International University Spring 2017 In collaboration with:


Table of Contents Student Essay Contest: Introduction .....................................................................................3 Darlyn De La Rosa..................................................................................................................4 Analyzing Healthcare Policy During the Trump Administration .........................................5

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Student Essay Contest: Introduction In what was a historic election in our nations history, Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States. While traditionally, the transition from a Democratic to Republican president brings more continuity than change, President Elect Trump has promised to "drain the swamp" and move the country in a brand new direction. The 2017 presidential inauguration student essay contest calls on FIU undergraduate students to submit their best essays examining a key public policy debate. The student with the best paper will visit Washington, D.C. and participate in inauguration week events. Student essays should discuss a critical topic related to public policy. Special emphasis should be given to the transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration. Topics can include but are not limited to: • Climate Change • Cybersecurity Health Care • Defense Policy • Education • Minimum Wage • Social Security Selected winner will travel to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, January 17 through Friday, January 20th, and participate in numerous events leading up to President-Elect Trump’s inauguration. Student will interact leading policy experts from both the Democratic and Republican parties, and will present their essay to current and former government officials.

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Darlyn De La Rosa Essay Contest Winner

Darlyn De la Rosa is a Cuban-born citizen, who came to the United States when she was 12 years old. She quickly learned English and became an outstanding student of her high school, graduating at the top 5% of her class. She also completed her first two years of college education while studying in high school. She is currently an International Relations major at FIU, graduating in the Fall of 2017. She hopes to attend FIU School of Law starting in the fall of 2018 and becoming an immigration attorney. Ms. De la Rosa is an example of the American Dream and she proudly represents her Hispanic heritage.

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Analyzing Healthcare Policy During the Trump Administration By Darlyn De La Rosa

Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America on November 8, 2016. His election marked the beginning of a period of uncertainty and unpredictability with regard to the future of our country. One important topic discussed during the election is healthcare. President-elect Donald Trump promised to work with Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on his first day in office. During his campaign, Mr. Trump proposed defunding Planned Parenthood and reducing drug costs through importation. His plan allows states to sell health insurance across state borders in order to increase competition, turn Medicaid into a grant program managed by states, and increase accessibility to health savings accounts. Mr. Trump also stated that he would like to maintain provisions of the ACA that allow children to stay on their parents’ insurance policy until they are 26 years old. Analysts have projected that Mr. Trump’s plan will cause 21 to 25 million people to lose their insurance coverage, increase out of pocket spending for all Americans, and cost over $550 billion over the next ten years. Furthermore, Mr. Trump recently appointed Representative Tom Price (R-GA), a former orthopedic surgeon and strong opponent of the ACA, as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The question is whether President Trump will be able to achieve his proposed changes to healthcare during the first 100 days of his administration. Experts believe that a full legislative repeal of the ACA within the first 100 days of the new administration is highly unlikely. Harvard Economics Professor David Cutler argues that such action will be extremely difficult. Members of Congress would like to replace the ACA, but it would likely take more than 100 days to develop an alternative plan. If a complete repeal of the ACA does not occur, Republicans could modify aspects of the ACA by passing a reconciliation bill that would limit amendments that have a substantial impact on the budget and allow Republicans to avoid delays. The reconciliation bill would need 51 Senate votes with Republicans currently holding the majority of seats. Cutler also points to the possibility of a Democratic filibuster in the Senate in this scenario. The reconciliation bill would modify some aspects of the ACA, but it could not change provisions such as reforms to the commercial insurance market, marketplace policies, and consumer protection measures. Experts also suggest that Congress could either delay the repeal of the ACA altogether or pass a bill repealing the ACA but delay its implementation. The latter would grant Republicans more time to develop a replacement.

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Pundits claim that President-elect Donald Trump will keep more than one part of the Affordable Care Act in place. The belief is that he will likely maintain specific provisions that allow children to be under their parents’ policies until they are 26, ban lifetime dollar limits for insurance coverage, and maintain a system that protects people with preexisting conditions from being denied coverage. Additionally, President-elect Trump’s plan would provide tax credits to assist people in paying their premiums. Pundits also assert that his plan would completely remove provisions that mandate employers to provide healthcare coverage to workers, increase taxes on upper-income individuals, and limit what insurers can charge older customers. Mr. Trump promised during the campaign to limit access to abortion by defunding Planned Parenthood. At approximately $450 million a year in federal funding, this program does not pose a significant monetary burden for the government. The GOP could decide to defund Planned Parenthood immediately; however, various legislative processes must occur first. Congress ultimately decides whether to continue funding Planned Parenthood with or without the support of the president. In 2016, Senate Republicans attempted to defund Planned Parenthood but were blocked by Senate Democrats. A new budget can be proposed in Spring 2017 but would need to be approved by the new Congress. The Trump administration could also restrict access to birth control covered under the ACA without Congressional approval. Representative Price explained that the Department of Health and Human Services writes ACA regulations. Therefore, new regulation mandating that contraception is no longer covered under one’s insurance can easily be implemented. However, President-elect Trump’s proposal to reduce drug prices by increasing drug importations would require legislation that is unlikely to occur in his first 100 days in office. Additionally, the importation of drugs will not provide immediate relief to consumers that struggle to pay for expensive drugs. I believe that President Trump’s healthcare policy during the first 100 days will not consist of supporting the repeal of the ACA, but rather delaying its implementation. President Trump will likely concentrate his efforts on the economy, national security, trade agreements, and the Supreme Court nomination. Additionally, it will likely take more than three months to develop a concrete healthcare act to replace the ACA. It will be especially interesting to see if President Trump, along with Congress, decides to keep part of the ACA or repeal it completely. I am hopeful that a President Trump will propose a plan that favors low-income families and enables them to have affordable access to the health care system.

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Works Cited 1

Frequently referred to as Obamacare.

2

Sara Gousarzi, “Trump’s First 100 Days: Health Care,” Scientific American, November 28, 2016, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trumps-first-100-days-health-care/, accessed December 29, 2016.

3 Terry

Jones, “What's Really Doable In Trump's First 100 Days?” Investor’s Business Daily, November 18, 2016, http://www.investors.com/politics/what-is-really-doable-intrumps-first-100-days/, accessed December 29, 2016.

4

Linda Qiu, “Donald Trump’s Campaign Promises for the First 100 Days,” PolitiFact, November 10, 2016, http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/nov/10/ donald-trumps-campaign-promises-first-100-days/, accessed December, 29, 2016.

5

Sy Mukherjee, “Will Trump’s Latest Cabinet Pick Really Be Able to Dismantle Obamacare?" Fortune, November 28, 2016, http://fortune.com/2016/11/29/donald-trump-tom-priceobamacare/, accessed December 29, 2016.

6

Sara Gousarzi, “Trump’s First 100 Days: Health Care.”

7

Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “What Trump Might Really Do with Health Care,” Associated Press, November 12, 2016, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ 01acebcac8134e50b1a8507334a5e9b8/what-trump-might-really-do-health-care, accessed December 29, 2016.

8

Sara Gousarzi, “Trump’s First 100 Days: Health Care.”

9

Ibid.

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