Mary Politi, associate professor in the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is a clinical psychologist with research and expertise in policy, health care and health insurance decision-making. She offers this advice to the president and cabinet members regarding the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare:
As the Trump administration considers repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I urge the president to support a plan that continues to provide financial assistance to low-income Americans so they can afford to buy health insurance.
Without federal subsidies, many vulnerable individuals with chronic medical conditions will be unable to afford health insurance and, by extension, the medical care they need. In such situations, taxpayers and the health-care providers would have to pay the health-care costs for those who are uninsured. I also urge the administration to continue expanding Medicaid so that low-income residents are not caught in situations where they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to receive federal subsidies to purchase health insurance. Missouri has many people who fall into this so-called Medicaid gap, and we need to have health insurance options that can benefit people of all income levels.
Finally, any new health insurance plans must provide guidance to individuals so they can choose a plan that best fits their needs at the lowest cost. We have worked on one such tool (showmehealthplans.org) for the ACA marketplace that helps people learn about health-care plans, understand health insurance terminology and choose the best plan that works for them. We will continue supporting consumer choice as the details of health insurance reform emerge from the Trump administration.
Read more “First 100 Days” messages at Election2016.wustl.edu.