What will Donald Trump’s victory mean for the health of America?

Following Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, Americans should work to strengthen institutions close to home—hospitals, schools, local governments, and our workplaces—wrote Atul Gawande, professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management and executive director of Ariadne Labs, in a November 14 piece in The New Yorker.

President-elect Trump has pledged to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which has helped 22 million Americans gain insurance coverage. Gawande said that doing so will not address problems with the U.S. health care system. “Eliminating Obamacare isn’t going to stop the unnerving rise in families’ health-care costs; it will worsen it. There are only two ways to assure people that if they get cancer or diabetes (or pregnant) they can afford the care they need: a single-payer system or a heavily regulated private one, with the kind of mandates, exchanges, and subsidies that Obama signed into law,” he wrote.

Gawande noted that decisions made at the federal level won’t necessarily affect our country’s fundamental values. In fact, he says that towns, cities, and state governments can take action to reduce the impact of such decisions. He pointed to Massachusetts, which in 2006, passed a health care reform law that covers 90% of residents.

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Atul Gawande, President Obama discuss future of medicine (Harvard Chan School news)