President Trump Signs Executive Order on Healthcare
Thursday, President Donald Trump directed his administration to rewrite some federal insurance rules as a beginning of renewed efforts to shred Barack Obamacare.
“With these actions, we are moving toward lower costs and more options in the heathcare market,” Trump said before signing his directive in the Oval Office. Trump said he will continue to pressure Congress to repeal and replace former President Barack Hussein Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The steps the President outlined Thursday will take a few months to finalize in regulations.
One of the Key ideas from the administration involves easing the way for groups and associations of employers to sponsor coverage that can be marketed across the land. That reflects President Trump’s longstanding belief that interstate competition will lead to lower premiums for consumers who buy their own health insurance policies, as well as for small businesses.
Those “association health plans” could be shielded from some state and federal insurance requirements. But responding to concerns, the White House said participating employers could not exclude any workers from the plan, or charge more to those in poor health.
Other elements of the White House plan include:
- Easing current restrictions on short-term policies that last less than a year, an option for people making a life transition, from recent college graduates to early retirees. Those policies are not subject to current federal and state rules that require standard benefits and other consumer protections.
- Allowing employers to set aside pre-tax dollars so workers can use the money to buy an individual health policy.
Congressional Democrats are bracing for the next move by President Trump to dismantle “Barack Obamacare,” this time with the rule-making powers of the executive branch.
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.
Senator Rand Paul, (R-KY), was at the White House ceremony, and President Trump honored him by handing him a pen used to sign the order.