Photo illustration by Sarina Finkelstein for MONEY; Getty Images (12); Reuters (1)
April 25, 2017

Donald Trump made repealing and replacing Obamacare, a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act, a cornerstone of his presidential campaign. Yet, unlike some of his GOP rivals, the candidate pledged to preserve Medicaid and Medicare. So far, President Trump has stumbled on both promises. His first attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare failed in March because it didn’t appeal to both hardline conservatives and moderate Republicans. Now, Trump is pushing Congress to come to an agreement on a plan that could do just that.

What’s more, Trump has shown a willingness to compromise both Medicaid and Medicare: his Obamacare replacement plan would have slashed funding for Medicaid and weakened Medicare’s long-term finances. Meanwhile, some voters hope Trump will make good on his campaign promise to lower skyrocketing drug prices.

MONEY asked five professionals in different fields within the health care industry to grade Trump’s progress during his first 100 days in office.

Dr. Michael Miles
Age: 34
Title: Hospital medicine physician
Grade: D
Voted for: Clinton

“I really see the whole Trumpcare process as a fiasco. I’m glad it didn’t work out. The direction they wanted to go in would be a negative one for our patients. We have an older, working class demographic in this region [Northern New York]. There were a lot of Trump supporters, but I get the sense they would have been up in arms if there would be cuts to Medicaid and eventually Medicare. Policies I would like to see include lowering the Medicare eligibility age and including a public option on the Obamacare exchanges. But anything I’ve read about their efforts to tweak the Obamacare markets seems like they’re trying to destabilize them.”

Meghan Bausone
Age: 30
Title: Marketing designer and women’s health advocate at Aeroflow Healthcare
Grade: C-
Voted for: Clinton

“On the campaign trail, Trump talked about promoting working moms, with Ivanka Trump being a model. I think his intentions were good, that he wants working moms to have the same advantages as their male counterparts. But where he falls short is a lot of people in his administration are working to make maternity care optional. We know in the past, that when it was optional, premiums were very high. Also, he is promoting six weeks of paid maternity leave, when having 12 weeks at a minimum is recognized as standard. If moms can have a longer break and not worry they’ll lose their job, they’ll be more successful. In a broader sense from a women’s health perspective, we should focus on why moms are still dying in childbirth. The U.S. is ranked 49th in maternal mortality rates, behind all developed nations and some developing nations. Why isn’t that a bigger issue when we’re talking about supporting working mothers? Let’s start by you not dying when you’re giving birth, then we can get you back working.”

David Sachs

Kim Thomas
Age: 52
Title: Home care worker
Grade: F-
Voted for: Clinton

“There was a sigh of relief when his healthcare didn’t pass. He is at best a mediocre businessman, and he came into a pickup game of basketball thinking he could play ball, but he can’t. He can’t even dribble or make a play. If he tries to come back and [pass a new health care bill], everyone will be on the edge of their seat. His plan would have had a devastating effect on the people I work for on Medicaid. They wouldn’t be able to afford me. How do you tell an 83-year-old you have to choose between people who take care of you and your medicine?”

 

Lisa C. Tang
Age: 36
Title: Clinical psychologist
Grade: D-
Voted for: No comment

“My frustration with Trump is I feel like he needs to do more research and educate himself, because when it comes down to the details, he’s really ignorant. With the ACA, for the first time there was the recognition that mental health was an essential health benefit. It made mental health care accessible to tens of millions of Americans. With this desire to repeal it, there’s talk about retaining pre-existing conditions, but I haven’t heard anything about requiring that mental health services be preserved. That’s a concern. Also, there’s proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health. The National Institute of Mental Health is part of the NIH, and it funds a huge amount of research on all kinds of mental health issues. I don’t know what Trump imagines researchers are doing. It’s not like they’re living the high life. They’re usually working overtime, not wasting research dollars on portraits of themselves.

I can have some faith Trump cares about people’s wellbeing. But the way he communicates—it seems to encourage people’s prejudices and fears rather than assuaging them. If he is going to speak out against hate crimes, he needs to be much clearer. Perception is powerful, especially when it comes to the president of the United States.”

Charday Richardson
Age: 26
Title: Pharmacy assistant & full-time paramedic student
Grade: F
Voted for: Clinton

“I have to rely on the EpiPen—both me and my son—and even with insurance, it’s ridiculous. I would definitely like to see Trump lower drug prices. He has the money—make him pay for it.

I actually want to move out of Pittsburgh and go to a state where there are better benefits. The pay for paramedics here isn’t that good, just $19 per hour. I’m almost at $14 now working in the pharmacy.”

 

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