When it comes to health policy, President Trump made it his mission to undo many measures his predecessor put in place.
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to do the same.
In their four years in office, the Trump administration made sweeping changes that affected the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, abortion and transgender rights, in many cases reversing the efforts of the Obama administration.
Most of the measures were done through executive orders and regulation since it was tough to get any bills through Congress, particularly after the Democrats took control of the House after the 2018 midterm elections.
Biden’s health officials will likely be active, as well, but it will take time for all their actions to take effect.
“They don’t have a massive eraser pen. They’ve got to go through the rule-making process,” said Allison Orris, a former Obama administration official and counsel with Manatt Health, a professional services firm. “They are going to have to think about what comes first, second and third and be realistic about timing.”
Plus, the Biden administration may opt to keep and continue several Trump administration efforts, including shifting to value-based care, rather than paying doctors for every visit and procedure, and increasing access to telehealth, said Ian Spatz, senior adviser at Manatt.
The two administrations also share common views on some measures to lower drug pricing, including basing Medicare payments on the cost of prescription medications in other countries and importing drugs from abroad. But Trump officials have not actually put these proposals in place.
However, where the two administrations will differ significantly is messaging, Spatz said. While Trump focused on dismantling the Affordable Care Act, Biden will emphasize expanding the law and access to health coverage.
Read more about Trump health care measures the incoming Biden administration is expected to reverse.