Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Darrell Mcdonald

How Trump's executive order would weaken Obamacare

How Trump's executive order would weaken Obamacare

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order allowing the sale of health insurance plans that are exempt from some Obamacare regulations. Staffers at the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury have been working on the options since shortly after the president took office.

However, it could also destabilize Obamacare by siphoning out younger and healthier Americans from the exchanges.

Regardless, it puts the health of millions of Americans at risk.

"This is a matter of life and death and it is a disgrace that this Administration sees fit to strip away health care while they continually blow through tax payer dollars on Trump's vacations and Cabinet members' private jets".

"This is going to be something that millions and millions of people will be signing up for", the president said, "and they're going to be very happy".

Trump said the measures "should have been done a long time ago, and could have been done a long time ago".

The President's directive expands cross-state access to association health plans, which allow small businesses and trade groups to partner up and purchase health insurance.

But some business groups are cheering the move, saying it will allow them to provide employees with insurance options that are affordable and appealing.

People on different sides of the polarized health care debate did agree that it will take months for the government bureaucracy to turn Trump's broad-brush goals into actual policies that affect millions of people who buy their own health insurance policies. He has also tasked various secretaries to look into "Health Reimbursement Accounts" that would assist small business owners in reimbursing their employees for healthcare expenses.

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Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, praised his executive order as step towards repealing and replacing his predecessor's signature health care law.

Trump's latest executive order, like his previous moves, seems motivated more by frustration at Congress's inability to repeal Obamacare than by any concern for the smooth functioning of the individual health-insurance market.

His plan announced Thursday has drawn backing from lawmakers like Sen.

The order also directs multiple agencies to review the level of competition among health-care providers and insurers nationally, with an eye toward identifying actions that could increase competition.

Basically Trump is looking to find ways to run insurance options that go around the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

"This is a case where doing something is worse than doing nothing", Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist and one of the architects of Obamacare, said on CNN.

Claxton said if the administration ends up loosening enforcement of the Obamacare coverage mandate, "it could be disruptive, and it could happen very quickly". Experts said consumers should not expect changes for next year. "So this is more show than actual reality in terms of making health care affordable for Americans". Instead, the nationwide plans may come under the same federal oversight as large-employer policies.

Democrats are bracing for another effort by Trump to dismantle "Obamacare", this time with the rule-making powers of the executive branch. What he didn't mention is that these potential savings would accrue only to people healthy enough to gamble on skimpy insurance coverage. The administration said that employers participating in these plans would not be allowed to exclude employees or develop premiums based on health conditions.

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