Trump Signs Executive Order To Begin Unwinding Obamacare
Having failed to repeal (or replace) Obamacare in the Congress on three separate occasions, on Thursday morning Trump took matters into his own hands, when as previewed last night, the President signed an executive order to begin the process of unwinding Obamacare, paving the way for sweeping changes to health-insurance regulations that would allow an expansion of less-comprehensive health plans.
“We’ve been hearing about the disaster of Obamacare for so long,” Trump said in signing the order at a White House ceremony. “For a long time, I’ve been hearing repeal, replace, repeal, replace.”
He then said that the order is "starting that process" to repeal ObamaCare. It will be the "first steps to providing millions of Americans with ObamaCare relief."
— CNN International (@cnni) October 12, 2017
The order will direct federal agencies to take actions aimed at providing lower-cost options and fostering competition in the individual insurance markets, according to the Wall Street Journal. The specific steps included in the order will represent only the first moves in his White House’s effort to strike parts of the law, the officials said adding that the order is just the beginning of the administration’s actions related to the health law. Furthermore, it will be months, rather than weeks, for even the most simple changes in the executive order to take effect, and the order leaves key details to the Labor Department, in particular, to determine after a formal rule-making process, including the solicitation of public comment.
While Trump’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), and also lifts limits on short-term health insurance plans, in some ways the order's impact remains a mystery as 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.