President-elect Donald J. Trump campaigned on a promise to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act with better health plans and healthcare for all Americans. Trump’s details are sparse, but most U.S. physicians will not be sad to see the law abolished, if the recent results of our “Obamacare Report Card” (July 25, 2016) are any indication.
Just as specifics of this new healthcare plan are a mystery, so are the experts advising the next president. Many media outlets—this one included—sought out these individuals during the campaign, but were never given names or interviews, just word that there are good people working on it behind the scenes.
So let me offer the President-elect some advice: Turn directly to the men and women practicing medicine every day.
Similar to the American electorate who channeled their frustration and desire for change into the ballot boxes in November, there is a very passionate group of physicians in this country disenchanted with their profession and eager for meaningful reform. Repealing Obamacare is just the beginning.
Medical Economics hears regularly from doctors frustrated with third-party interference with their patients’ care and the numerous hoops they must jump through on a daily basis. The flame inside that keeps them dedicated to medicine is starting to flicker and they are seeking some kind of outlet to express their displeasure with the current state of healthcare.
And while I’m sure President-elect Trump and his advisers will turn to the usual sources of guidance—the American Medical Association, specialty associations and even federal healthcare agencies—that should be just the start of the effort. I implore him to repeat the efforts of his campaign and connect with those across the nation to get a feel for physicians’ specific pain points and true barriers they face to providing quality care.