How Trump could reduce or eliminate Obamacare

PITTSBURGH — During his campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly said he would repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and has made it part of his 100-day plan. It’s a decision that could impact 22 million Americans.

Many Channel 11 Facebook followers have been asking how that process might play out.

"If the new Trump administration makes good on the promise to repeal and replace, we could be looking at some major changes in health care and some major disruptions," said Martin Gaynor, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who has been studying economics and health care markets for more than 20 years.

Gaynor said getting rid of some aspects of Obamacare could happen easily without Congressional approval. There’s an ongoing lawsuit, filed by Republicans, to stop federal dollars from financing part of the law.

"The Republican lawsuit won in court,” Gaynor said. “The Obama administration has appealed that, so one thing that a new Trump administration could do on day one is stop the appeal."

That would cause immediate change.

A less immediate, but still probable scenario, is for the president-elect to sign the law proposed by Congress and vetoed by President Obama that would reduce major sources of funding and end the mandate that everyone must buy health insurance.

“That wouldn't repeal and replace Obamacare, but would limit it extensively and probably undermine it to a large extent that it would function far less effectively and it might even disappear," Gaynor said. “If this goes away, nothing comes in to replace, it they'll just lose that coverage.”

Employer-sponsored coverage could also be affected if there are large changes in a new White House administration.

Repealing Obamacare isn’t the only thing the president-elect wants to change in his first 100 days in office, though, his course of action is ambiguous, according to Dr. Andrew Simpson, an assistant professor of history at Duquesne University.

“It's a very ambitious plan. Quite a bit he's proposing to do and quite a bit that's vague at this point. I think it depends on the cooperation that he has between both houses in Congress,” Simpson said.

Both the House and Senate are now controlled by Republicans, and Simpson said he’ll need allies to push his agenda, including the renegotiation of trade deals, such as NAFTA.

“There’s certainly a wing of the Republican Party that supports free trade. It's not clear how much he'll have to actually remove us from all of those trade deals,” he said.

Trump said he’ll also propose legislation to fund creating a wall to end illegal immigration, as, well as create a task force on violent crime and increase funding for programs to help local police departments.