6 of Donald Trump’s known positions on healthcare and science

20161113130000, Teo Jun Hong
While not completely opposed funding biomedical research, Trump has stated his chief objective is to boost the economy
With Donald Trump being granted a mandate by the American people this week, change is on the horizon. While there would be positives, there would inevitably be negatives.

Here is a preliminary look at his health and scientific policy positions, based on his quotes.

1. Trumpcare to replace the Affordable Care Act

Throughout his presidential campaign, he has vowed to “tear up” the “disastrous” Obamacare Act. What has been certified is that Obamacare has raised premiums across the board, with one foundation estimating that says the average price increment of family premiums has ballooned by $2,200 during the Obama administration. Notwithstanding, hospitals, doctors, businesses, and consumers all expect their taxes and health costs to rise under Obamacare.

He has proposed to replace Obamacare with one that would work based on free market principles that would hopefully broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans. Price transparency, and the removal of artificial pricing barriers towards essential medication (the recent EpiPen overpricing is one classic case) would go in tandem with his healthcare reforms, along with tax breaks.

However, less of that might disappear under President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to “repeal and replace Obamacare” than many believe, according to some policy analysts who reason that the new president would not want to be responsible for “just kicking millions of people out on the street”.

2. Reprioritisation of biomedical research

While he has not completely opposed to funding for biomedical research, Trump has stated that his chief objective has always been about boosting the economy. He has proposed to place an emphasis on providing findings for core research, and not to provide funding liberally.

Thus, his main stated objective is not of blocking research progress, but part of a broader effort to ensure that research and public health initiatives are, “balanced with other demands for scarce resources.” Researchers focused on Alzheimer’s disease can rest easy though, as he has made that a top priority for his administration, though he expressed his disappointments at the relative lack of progress.

3. Investments for improving mental health

Trump has recognised that the mentally ill as one aspect of healthcare that needed reforms. He has reemphasised his commitment to providing mental health treatment to those incarcerated. Part of his plan involved encouraging family members to be more involved in their care, and increase accessibility to those who requires assistance.

“We must ensure that the national government provides the support to state and local governments to bring mental health care to the people at the local level,” he said during the campaign period.

4. A war on drugs and opioid abuse

Recognising that there is a pressing need to address the immense public health issue that is the epidemic of drugs and opioid abuse, his top priority in addressing this issue would be to stop the free-flow of opioids into the US. This is perhaps part of his motivation in building his infamous wall between the US and Mexico.

He has also rationalised that such an investment on the war on drugs would reap dividends in terms of the recovered lives and enhanced productivity, adding wealth and health to the nation. Last year, opioid abuse claimed nearly 30,000 lives.

5. Continued vaccinations for children

Despite confounding reports, Trump has stated that as president, he would support vaccinations, saying that, “we should educate the public on the values of a comprehensive vaccination program. This seems to be of enough importance that we should put resources against this task.”

He has also clarified that he was pro-vaccination, with a tweet saying that, “To all haters and losers: I am NOT anti-vaccine, but I am against shooting massive doses into tiny children. Spread shots out over time.”

6. Scientific research and innovations

Responding to worries that he would reject scientific studies, he responded via ScienceDebate.org that he would respect the integrity of science, and free it from partisanship. He says that “science is science and facts are facts.”

He emphasises that his, “administration will ensure that there will be total transparency and accountability without political bias. The American people deserve this and I will make sure this is the culture of my administration.” MIMS

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