Following Congress’ failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, President Donald Trump who earlier promised to take the burden upon himself has walked the talk on Thursday by signing an executive order aimed at taking action on ObamaCare.
The order is “starting that process” to repeal ObamaCare. It will be the “first steps to providing millions of Americans with ObamaCare relief,” Trump said.
The executive order largely does not make changes itself; rather it directs agencies to issue new regulations or guidance. These new rules will go through a notice and comment period that could take months, officials said.
The President’s order seeks to expand the ability of small businesses and other groups 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.
The order will also allow people to use tax-advantaged accounts known as health reimbursement accounts to pay for their premiums.
“The time has come to take action to IMPROVE access, INCREASE choices, and LOWER COSTS for HEALTHCARE!”, Trump tweeted.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2017
However, experts warn that the order could undermine the stability of ObamaCare markets by opening up skimpier, cheaper plans that would divert healthy people away from ObamaCare plans.
Similarly, Democrats who before now have expressed their displeasure with administration cutbacks to outreach about the coming ObamaCare enrollment period, including a 90 percent cut to the advertising budget, warned that the order is part of Trump’s larger plan to “sabotage” the health-care law and accomplish on his own what Congress could not.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement, “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”.
“If the system deteriorates, make no mistake about it, the blame will fall squarely on the president’s back,” he added.
Meanwhile, Sen. Paul Rand who was against the Congress’ Graham-Cassidy Bill has voiced his satisfaction with the announcement. He said the move is the “biggest free-market reform of health care in a generation.”
The Kentucky junior Senator has long pushed for expanding association health plans, saying they give people choices for lower-cost coverage and was in attendance when Trump made the announcement.
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