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Short-Term Gains, Long-Term Uncertainty: the Medical Device Supply Chain in a Post-Obamacare Era

Nov 29 2016
The American medical device industry and its place in the global supply chain are currently in a state of uncertainty, as the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, looms in the near future, as do wider changes to the laws which directly affect it. No one is confident enough to guess what exactly is coming—President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican Party have promised to replace the signature legislative act of the Obama administration, in tandem with its repeal, but as of yet few details of what exactly that replacement will look like have been forthcoming. Recently, Donald Trump has even suggested keeping certain popular aspects of the ACA—such as allowing people to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they reach the age of 26 and barring insurance companies from discriminating against patients with pre-existing conditions—while many experts agree that it will prove impossible to keep any part of the law in place while repealing other core aspects of it. Meanwhile, the recent announcement that Tom Price, one of the fiercest critics of Obamacare, will head the Health and Human Services Department signals that there is a better-than-not chance that they will seek a full dismantling of the law. The Republican Party has the tiger by the tail, so to speak, and what they do with it will have widespread effects across a number of industries, none more so than that of medical devices and equipment.


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