Unable to Influence Congress, Trump Plans to Attack Obamacare on his Own

By Sahid Fawaz

With few friends left in Congress – now that he has insulted many of them – President Donald Trump is back to using executive orders.

And this time he has Obamacare in his sights.

Vox.com reports:

“With a repeal bill off the table, the Trump administration has drafted an executive order that could blow a huge hole in the Affordable Care Act, according to a source with direct knowledge of the plan.

The order would, in effect, exempt many association health plans, groups of small businesses that pool together to buy health insurance, from core Obamacare requirements like the coverage of certain essential health benefits. It would potentially allow individuals to join these plans too, which would put individual insurance marketplaces in serious peril by drawing younger and healthier people away from them.

The draft order is also said to broaden the definition of short-term insurance, which is also exempt from the law’s regulations. Together, these changes represent a serious threat to Obamacare: President Trump seems ready to open more loopholes for more people to buy insurance outside the health care law’s markets, which experts anticipate would destabilize the market for customers who are left behind with higher premiums and fewer insurers.

‘This appears to be a backdoor way of undermining the Affordable Care Act,’ Kevin Lucia, who studies the markets at Georgetown University, said of the alleged changes.

It’s possible that the order could change before Trump signs it, or never be signed at all, as has happened with other executive orders in the past. The details of the order as described, though, generally match up with what had been expected after Trump said he would soon issue an executive order on health care. Association health plans have been a priority for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has urged Trump to expand them.”

For the rest of the story, check out the Vox.com piece here.

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