Tags: Donald Trump | Health Topics | Healthcare Reform | Trump Administration | obamacare | repeal | executive order

WSJ: Trump to Sign Executive Order to Roll Back Obamacare

Image: WSJ: Trump to Sign Executive Order to Roll Back Obamacare
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By    |   Wednesday, 11 Oct 2017 10:54 PM

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order to begin the dismantling of Obamacare by allowing insurance agencies to expand the sale of less comprehensive plans, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Trump's order would direct federal agencies to begin providing lower-cost options and creating competition in individual insurance markets, the Journal reported.

The article cited an interview with "two senior White House officials."

However, "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 told the Journal.

The most basic changes would not take effect for months — and the order would also direct agencies to study and report federal and state policies that might contribute to rising health costs.

These include, potentially, the impact of consolidation within the healthcare industry.

Trump plans to sign the order in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, surrounded by Cabinet officials and insurance industry representatives, according to the report.

With the action, President Trump is expected to do what the Republican-controlled Congress could not do after making years of promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Legislation aimed at a repeal of Obamacare's basic elements died in July, with Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain casting the deciding vote.

McCain also came out against another GOP healthcare proposal last month, joining Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who immediately resisted it.

Sen. Susan Collins, the third-term Maine Republican, then said she would not support the legislation proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

According to the Journal, Trump's order is expected to provide more options for consumers by increasing the number of alternative insurance arrangements that would be exempt from critical Obamacare rules.

Trump's changes, however, could raise costs for sicker people by drawing healthier, younger consumers to the alternative plans, which could be less expensive and offer fewer benefits, insurance experts told the Journal.

Another objective is to expand access to plans that would allow small businesses — even individuals — come together to buy insurance.

Limits on short-term insurance programs, which provide limited coverage and often appeals to healthier people, would also be lifted under the order.

In addition, Trump's move seeks to expand the ways in which workers use employer-funded accounts to buy their own insurance policies, according to the Journal.

The order also leaves key details to the Labor Department — and a formal rule-making process would include the solicitation of public comment.

President Trump's planned move drew immediate ire from Democrats, telling the Journal the order could cause turbulence in the insurance market and overlooks the complexity of the healthcare system.

"It has the potential to be very disruptive," Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, told the Journal.

"I don’t think the insurance companies are prepared to actually deal with that."

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President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order to begin the dismantling of Obamacare by allowing insurance agencies to expand the sale of less comprehensive plans, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
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2017-54-11
Wednesday, 11 Oct 2017 10:54 PM
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