Medical device markets face uncertainty over the future of Affordable Care Act amid the US election, says GlobalData

The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) depends on the outcome of the 2020 US election and each outcome will have a distinct impact on medical device markets, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The Democrat party has stated their support for the ACA and their plan to protect it, if elected during the 2020 US election. However, the party admits that the act is flawed and plans to improve the law. Joe Biden plans to eliminate the 400% income cap on tax credit eligibility and lower the limit on the cost of coverage from 9.86% of income to 8.5%.

On the other hand, the Republican party has not changed its stance on healthcare since the 2016 election platform, meaning that its stance on the ACA will largely remain the same as it has for the past number of years. In general, the Republican party prefers less government intervention and more of a ‘free-market’ approach to healthcare. The Republican party under President Donald Trump has attempted to make many amendments to the ACA since 2017 and will likely continue to do so if elected in 2020.

Ashley Young, Medical Devices Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The status of the ACA has a direct impact on medical device markets, as many treatments using medical devices are covered under Medicare. For example, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) covers transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures for select populations and reported just over 34,000 TAVR procedures in the American Medicaid population in 2017. If this coverage was reduced in some way, it could lead to fewer TAVR procedures being carried out since fewer people could afford it.

“Consequently, there would be a reduction in the market size for TAVR devices, which would impact major players such as Edwards Lifesciences and Medtronic, as well as new market entrant Boston Scientific. However, it is hard to predict whether the alternative methods of healthcare proposed by the Republicans would impact these procedures positively or negatively, compared to the status quo of the ACA. Therefore, medical device manufacturers must be wary of potential changes to the ACA following the outcome of the election.”

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