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    Outlook for healthcare under a President Trump


    Family planning and abortion rights

    President-elect Trump has made clear his opposition to abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and risk of maternal mortality. It is likely that this would serve as a litmus test for his Supreme Court nominees. However, the Supreme Court now has a 5-3 majority supporting Roe v. Wade. President Trump would need to appoint at least 2 new justices to affect federally protected access to abortion.

    Moreover, overturning Roe v. Wade would not end abortion access nationwide but rather would result in a patchwork of states either permitting or prohibiting pregnancy termination. The results could be state boycotts by pro-life and pro-choice groups, exacerbating the already substantial red state-blue state cultural divide. On the other side of maternal/family issues, Mr. Trump favors 6 weeks of guaranteed paid maternity leave.3

    Take-home message

    The election of Mr Trump and retention of Republican majorities in the House and Senate will result in significant changes to healthcare financing and women’s healthcare. However, the magnitude and pace of these changes may be smaller and slower than supporters demand or opponents fear.

    Look for the largest impact in the first 100 days after which Mr Trump’s honeymoon, such as it is likely to be, may dissipate and legislators’ eyes will instinctively return to, God forbid, the next election cycle.

    Finally, a closing thought. I live in Hillsborough County, Florida—a crucial battleground county in a crucial battleground state. Thus, for the past 4 months I have been deluged by the most censorious, malicious, and painful political ads imaginable. Our local newspaper—the multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning Tampa Bay Times “Politifact” service recorded many, many “Pants on Fire” (patently false) statements by virtually all candidates running for local, state, and federal offices in both parties.4

    Thus, I would propose that, if physicians are expected to dutifully practice evidence-based medicine, it’s time for our politicians to practice evidence-based politics!



    1. Williams JC. What so many people don’t get about the U.S. working class. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2016/11/what-so-many-people-dont-get-about-the-u-s-worki...

    2. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Restore NIH funding factsheet. http://www.faseb.org/Portals/2/PDFs/opa/2016/Factsheet_Restore_NIH_Fundi...

    3. Harrington R, Sheth S. Here’s where Trump stands on abortion and other women’s health issues. Business Insider.  http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-abortion-womens-health-platforms-positions-2016-11

    Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM
    Dr. Lockwood, Editor-in-Chief, is Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine and Senior Vice President of USF Health, University of South ...


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