10 actions brokers want from the Trump administration
With a new president who campaigned on changing Washington, EBA spoke with brokers across the U.S. to get a pulse on what issues they want to see the Trump administration address.
1) Trust in market forces
“The prospect of decreased regulation and increased competition is a thrilling outlook as compared to sloshing through a highly regulated and rapidly shrinking marketplace under the ACA,” says Bob Gearhart Jr., partner at Boardman, Ohio-based DCW Group.

“Rather than focusing on policies to dictate market conditions, we would love to see an administration that allows market forces to drive improvement in policy,” he adds. “As with any change and in particular those that deregulate a market, advisers will need to adapt to new competitors and more alternatives for customers.”
2) Champion the little guy
“I would like to see the incoming administration bring their ideas in with a large amount of empathy for the entire country,” says Renee Glickman-Cohn, executive vice president at Canoga Park, Calif.-based Really Great Employee Benefits. “The entire country is in a very fragile state and this needs to be taken into consideration, otherwise they will go from being seen as champions of the average Joe or Jane to the big bad bully.”

“With regards to the ACA, I am very concerned that the new administration will make the mistakes of the old administration,” she adds. “Healthcare cannot be changed by taking the end result, making it law without understanding how it really works. That is what got us in trouble in the first place. The ACA was put in by edict. It cannot be undone the same way.”
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3) Lower healthcare costs
“My hope is that the ACA can be corrected to allow private industry and the federal government to work together in order to find a solution which will give people accessible and affordable health insurance,” says Jim Deese, sales manager at Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Allegacy Benefit Solutions. “The ACA was really health insurance reform. It did very little to bend the cost curve of medical goods and services. Hopefully over the next four years we will see a measurable plateauing of actual healthcare costs.”
4) Implement business-friendly regulations
“Under the Trump administration we would like to see more business-friendly regulations relating to healthcare reform,” says Sara Julius, managing partner at Holland, Mich.-based Edify North.

For example, Julius would like to see the Cadillac tax replaced with an employer tax deduction cap on health plans, which “would eliminate the unnecessary reporting burden employers will face while still generating the revenue the initial tax was projected to bring in,” she explains. “In addition, simplified reporting requirements across the board and increasing the full-time hourly requirement to 40 hours would be welcome changes for businesses.”
5) Take time repealing and replacing the full ACA
Brett Brummitt, managing partner of AG Insurance Agencies in Fort Worth, Texas, would like to see the Trump administration repeal and replace the ACA in a two-year transition that does not fully eliminate the individual and large employer mandates for health insurance coverage. Rather, he would like to see a plan that “broadens the scope of qualified plans and the certification criteria on such plans in a manner that allows a law to provide care and compassion for the employee, the entrepreneur and the underprivileged,” he says.
6) Redirect economic growth
Tom Avery, principal of Innovative Broker Services in Folsom, Calif., is looking for a “redirection of investment to areas to grow our economy, and resurgence of manufacturing in the U.S. This must be a balanced approach that improves out international relations and our domestic security.”
7) Turn to advisers for guidance
“Whatever the new administration rolls out, we will have to become experts on it,” says Ed Oleksiak, vice president and shareholder of Holmes Murphy in Dallas. “[We] will have to have input in the design and regulations around it and then help our clients.”
8) Get rid of reporting requirements
“I would like to see them immediately, without fail, repeal the Form 1094 and Form 1095 reporting requirements. It costs our clients a whole lot of money … and wastes employers’ time and money,” says Will Glaros, managing partner of Schererville, Ind.-based Meyers Glaros.
9) Don’t get distracted by insurance reforms that won’t save costs
“[I hope] we don’t get wrapped up in some of the ideas suggested that have little-to-no cost savings associated with them, like allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, increased flexibility of HSAs, and easier creation of association health plans. These sound good in principle, but don’t address the cost equation enough,” says Russ Blakely, president of Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Russ Blakely and Associates.
10) Stay the course
Tanya Boyd, president of Sunnyvale, Texas-based Tanya Boyd and Associates, works with many consumers receiving a subsidy on the ACA marketplaces. Despite uncertainty about the ACA’s future, she plans to keep going with business as usual. “As long as the need is there, I don’t see us changing our business model,” she says. “It is way too early to say what is going to happen. As the market adjusts, we will adjust to meet the needs of our clients.”