An executive order by President Trump has been signed which aims to take action on ObamaCare after Congress failed to repeal the bad legislation.
The new order is “starting that process” of repeal, said President Trump on Thursday, and will give the “first steps to providing millions of Americans with ObamaCare relief,” Trump said.
Officials within the administration have said this is just the begging in regards to actions concerning the health law.
The plan has the potential to undermine the stability of ObamaCare markets, warned experts, by making cheaper plans accessible to healthier people; taking them away from ObamaCare plans.
(Um duh, that is probably the point.)
Via the Hill: Democrats warn that the order is part of Trump’s larger plan to “sabotage” the health law and accomplish on his own what Congress could not.
The full extent of the effects will not be immediately clear. The executive order largely does not make changes itself; rather it directs agencies to issue new regulations or guidance. Those new rules will go through a notice and comment period that could take months, officials said.
The president’s order has the goal to expand a small business and other groups’ ability ‘to band together to buy health insurance through what are known as association health plans (AHPs). It also lifts limits on short-term health insurance plans,’ continues the Hill.
Because both of these types of plans do not have to follow the same ObamaCare rules, such as minimum benefits standards, experts warn that healthier people could join these cheaper plans and leave only sicker people in ObamaCare plans. That could lead to a spike in premiums for ObamaCare plans or insurers simply dropping out of the market.
The move is a victory for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has long pushed for expanding association health plans, saying they give people choices for lower-cost coverage. He joined Trump at the White House on Thursday, calling the move the “biggest free market reform of health care in a generation.”
“This executive order is good for healthy people (while they’re healthy) and bad for sick people,” Larry Levitt wrote on Twitter. “Only question is the extent of the effect.”
Levitt is a health care policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The Trump administration has already set in place budget cutbacks for the up coming ObamaCare enrollment period. Democrats have been pouting about this, especially since one cut was 90 percent of the advertising budget.
“Having failed to repeal the law in Congress, the president is sabotaging the system, using a wrecking ball to singlehandedly rip apart our health care system,” Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer said.
“If the system deteriorates, make no mistake about it, the blame will fall squarely on the president’s back,” he added.
The order does not address whether individuals can join association health plans, a move which would have made it more broad and deepen its effects on the ObamaCare market.
However, officials have only discussed the change in the context of small businesses, and a senior administration official said “some employer-employee relationship must be present” for someone to join an association health plan. Officials do say that small employers in the same “line of business” anywhere in the country could join together.
Do you think Trump’s new executive order will help improve our healthcare policy? Give us your thoughts below.