Kelly Thibert, D.O., M.P.H, AMSA National President
American Medical Student Association
Phone: (703) 665-4786
Sterling, VA – November 9, 2016: Today’s election results for the next president of the United States come as a surprise to a lot of people. Donald Trump, real estate developer and reality television star, will now serve as president for the next four years.
Now that Donald Trump will become President Trump this January, he will be charged with the task of addressing health care at a time when Open Enrollment season number four (OE4) will be coming to an end. Over the course of President Obama’s tenure we have seen the Affordable Care Act transform health care for millions of Americans, helping to get over 20 million Americans health insurance coverage. While this measure has also been a great step forward for health care in America, we still have issues to face. For instance, the large number of millennials refusing to purchase coverage through the marketplace because of high costs, or people unable to qualify for insurance through the marketplace because they fall into the coverage gap. We still see issues with access to health care, because as we know, insurance does not translate to access; although in our current health care climate governed by health insurance companies, access to health insurance is a great feat.
We heard along the campaign trail that he would repeal Obamacare, reduce barriers to the interstate sale of health insurance, institute a full tax deduction for insurance premium payments for individuals, make Health Saving Accounts inheritable, require price transparency, block-grant Medicaid to the states, and allow for more overseas drug providers through lowered regulatory barriers. Trump also added that enforcing immigration laws could reduce health care costs; maybe health care is not a human right after all? AMSA strongly disagrees.
When we look at the positive remarks that Donald Trump has made regarding health care, they are few and far between. He has suggested that birth control be prescription-free because he acknowledges the barriers that some women might have to even get a prescription. He has also mentioned single-payer health care in the past. However this was in the year 2000 and nothing was mentioned during this presidential campaign season.
The American Medical Student Association seeks quality, affordable health care for all, and we feel that it is of the utmost importance to take a stand when our future patients cannot access the care that they need. While we applaud the nation on this election, this does not mean we will remain quiet. There will be conversations to be had and progress to be made when it comes to health care. It is the responsibility of physicians to promote the health of communities. We should be free to fulfill our ethical obligations to patients and society without political interference. AMSA will continue to support our future patients by respecting their autonomy and advocating for their right to health care.
About AMSA: The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. AMSA is a student-governed, national organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. AMSA members are medical students, premedical students, interns, residents and practicing physicians. Founded in 1950, AMSA continues its commitment to improving medical training and the nation’s health through live and online education, advocacy activities, and local/regional chapter involvement.