HealthConnections: Which Direction for the Individual Market?

Oct 24, 2017

President Trump and Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander are two key players in the immediate future of health coverage in this country. Decisions about the individual marketplaces, open enrollment, cost-sharing payments to insurers are being made. But Trump and Alexander are pointing in different directions, emphasizing strong disagreement about the best way forward.

"I think what is tells us is that health care coverage is very important, and that people have expectations about the Affordable Care Act," says UT College of Nursing professor Carole Myers. "The debate is, do you tear it down without having something in its place, or do you work on what's in place until you have something better?"

Sen. Alexander is still pursuing a bipartisan approach to stabilizing the current ACA marketplaces where people - particularly low-income people - purchase their health coverage. Trump, meanwhile, has cut funding for outreach, and has signed executive orders ending the cost-sharing payments and offering skimpier "association plans."

Dr. Myers and WUOT's Brandon Hollingsworth sort through the differences, and what they mean, in this installment of HealthConnections.