We have a new President-Elect! It is a privilege to live in Democracy where we can expect a peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. I was born in the USA, and raised in Nigeria and Zimbabwe. I have seen how the lack of such can be quite problematic. I was proud to vote and am happy to be part of the democracy that we have here in the USA. Whether happy or not, democrat or republican, Trump-supporter or not, it is time for everyone to look to the future. We have to better understand (if one doesn’t already), what we might expect from the Trump-Pence Administration starting January 2017.

As a physician, I am particularly interested in their health care proposals. As a mom to elementary aged children (and younger), I am also interested in better understanding their thoughts regarding the public educational system. I want to know how they plan to protect the most essential unit any civilized society has, which is the family unit. I went through pregnancies as a working mom and I acknowledge that I am more fortunate than many. Nonetheless, I want to know how they plan to support the working parent, including childcare, family medical leave, and such.

Here are a few essentials as I understand them:

Health care:

The facts: Trump-Pence ran on the platform of repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a plan that works better for the common person. Their interest is in taking decision-making away from the big powers, so citizens do not feel forced to have insurance if they would rather not. They would like to make the health insurance market more competitive by allowing citizens to shop across state lines. They would like greater price transparency so individuals can compare prices when seeking services from health organizations and medical providers. They would like us to be able to accumulate funds in Health Savings Accounts (tax-free), that are transferable to heirs at death. They propose to address the issue of medication costs spiraling out of control, by allowing inclusion of cheaper drugs from other drug providers.  There is also mention of limiting federal involvement in state Medicaid plans.

A few thoughts: I am curious to learn how the Trump-Pence Administration might tackle the issue of pre-existing health conditions in seeking health insurance. Also, if Obamacare is repealed, I do not know how they propose to have a large number of citizens get re-insured (who would like to and do not have the luxury of getting insured through an employer).

The family:

The facts: The Trump-Pence Administration plans to work towards 6-weeks paid maternity leave (currently unpaid for many women in the US). They propose to offer a childcare rebate for low-income households, and will provide an incentive for employers to offer childcare at the workplace. Further, they plan to rewrite the tax code to allow deductions for up to 4 children and elderly dependents.

A few thoughts:  Universal 6-weeks paid maternity leave is certainly a start but I wonder if there are plans to make that even better/longer (think of Canada and some affluent European countries). I’m curious to learn more about how they plan to incentivize employers regarding childcare at US workplaces.

Education:

The facts:  They want to reprioritize federal dollars to benefit our schools. They plan to pay attention to children living in poverty. Mike Pence has a track record in expanding preschool programs for children in low-income families, in Indiana. Trump-Pence specifically mention wanting to address the high burden of college loans that is very problematic.

A few thoughts:  I cannot find specific mention of early childhood education and whether the Trump-Pence Administration might address that. A large number of children do not attend because of sparse openings and fiscal limitations. We know that studies have shown again and again, how early childhood education can have tremendous and life-long advantages. I also do not know of their proposals regarding special education which is another area with great room for improvement.

I’m curious to learn of your thoughts. Perhaps you can help me better understand some aspects. Please feel free to leave a comment. If you find my blog posts helpful, do share freely with your friends and subscribe to receive email updates (look along the right column for a blue ‘WordPress Follow’ button).

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