Day one Donald J. Trump, the 45th President, signed his first executive order on January 20, 2017 to roll back certain aspects of the existing Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly known as Obamacare, a national health care initiative. The executive order aims at ‘minimising the economic burden’ of the Obamacare law ‘pending its repeal’, which Mr. Trump vowed during his campaign trail.
The order says “It is the policy of my administration to seek the prompt repeal” of the law. The Trump administration is preparing to replace it with an effective plan that they say would allow ‘insurance for all’.
The order on the Affordable Care Act directs departments and agencies related to the healthcare and health insurance sector to ease the burden of Obamacare during the period of transition of its repeal and replacement.
The administration has said they are working at creating a freer and more open healthcare market in the country. To achieve the goal, they ordered federal departments and agencies to take actions consistent with law to reduce the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the ACA and gives the states with more flexibility and control to his effect.
By signing the executive order on day one in the White House, Mr. Trump takes actions to dismantle the healthcare law that covers some 20 million Americans and was the signature healthcare program of his predecessor President Barack Obama.
Section 2 of the Executive order instructs the secretary of HHS (Health and Human Services) to “exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” parts of the law that would place a fiscal or regulatory burden on states, individuals or health-care providers.
The President with his team decided to replace and repeal the Obamacare laws with new a new healthcare system that will allow patients to buy health insurance across state lines using health savings accounts and have interstate health insurance sales and high-risk pools at the state level to take care of people who have pre-existing conditions.
The executive order is not going to affect Medicare, the federal healthcare insurance program for older people at 65 years or above and people with disabilities. Considering the time it will take Republicans to fashion a replacement, the federal and state insurance exchanges are likely to function at least through 2018.
The Affordable Care Act marketplaces are still active before open enrollment ends Jan. 31 for 2017 coverage. Advocates for the ACA will be interested in seeing how many companies and individuals decide to take part this year and next.
The new administration says features found in Obamacare, like the provision that continues young adults’ coverage under their parents’ insurance, will not be affected.
For more information see the executive order here: “Executive Order Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal” https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/2/executive-order-minimizing-economic-burden-patient-protection-and