7 healthcare industry developments since the election

Here are seven developments in the healthcare sector since the presidential election ended Tuesday evening.

1. President-elect Trump released a brief, 310-word plan on his website outlining parts of his healthcare agenda. The document is similar to the president-elect's campaign platform, which includes allowing insurers to sell products across state lines, turning Medicaid into a block grant program and making tax-free health savings accounts part of an estate. The administration also vows to protect "innocent human life from conception to natural death," according to the website.

2. Since the election's close, some health insurance companies that did not anticipate a Trump win have had to devise new business strategies. "We started with a fresh piece of paper yesterday," Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said, according to the Hartford Courant. Mr. Bertolini said Aetna's stock jumped $14 after the election because investors believe the Department of Justice under President Trump is more likely to approve the Aetna-Humana merger.

3. Hospitals, healthcare providers and other industry organizations banking on a Clinton presidency have also had to regroup. "This is Day 1 of figuring out what all of this means," Sam Glick, partner at healthcare consulting firm Oliver Wyman, told New York Times Wednesday. Of the health industry clients he works with, he said, "I don’t think I can name one that had done scenario planning around Trump being elected."

4. Repealing the Affordable Care Act is "pretty high on our agenda," Sen. Mitch McConnell told Politico Wednesday regarding the GOP strategy. "I would be shocked if we didn't move forward and keep our commitment to the American people."

5. Democrats and leaders of some advocacy groups in support of the ACA said they are ready to wage "total war" to defend the universal healthcare program. "We've got the battle of our lifetime ahead of us," Ron Pollack, executive director of advocacy group Families USA, told Politico. "Sen. [Chuck] Schumer and senate Democrats are interested in ways to improve the Affordable Care Act. But we will fight tooth and nail against any attempt to repeal it," a senior senate Democratic aide told Politico.

6. More than 100,000 Americans rushed to buy health insurance through the ACA Wednesday after news of Mr. Trump's victory — the single greatest consumer turnout this enrollment period. The surge of enrollees highlights the magnitude of any change to healthcare legislation.

7. A dip in some health IT firms' stock Wednesday reflected the post-election drop in hospital stocks. "Our new national leadership comprised of a Republican-led administration and a Republican Congress will advance a wide range of legislation and regulation that will have significant ramifications for Cerner, our clients and the patients they serve," Meg Marshall, senior director of public policy, wrote in a blog post. Cerner's stock fell 4.6 percent between market close Tuesday and market open Wednesday.


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