Tags: Healthcare Reform | Trump Administration | trump | healthcare | power of the pen

Trump: I'll Use 'Power of the Pen' for Healthcare Reform

Image: Trump: I'll Use 'Power of the Pen'  for Healthcare Reform
(Reuters)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 October 2017 07:31 AM

President Donald Trump said early Tuesday he will use the "power of the pen" to give "great Healthcare to many people — FAST" because Congress has failed to repeal and replace Obamacare.

In his message, posted along with other tweets attacking ESPN, Democrats over immigration and the NFL, Trump said:

Trump's tweet indicates he will use an executive order — a tool often used by his predecessor, Barack Obama, and ridiculed by Trump's party — to get the changes he wants in the nation's healthcare system.

Trump is expected to sign the executive order this week to start lifting insurance rules set through the Affordable Care Act, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend, quoting a senior administration official.

The order is expected to expand options for Americans buying coverage on their own or for those who work for small employers. According to the publication, it will include instructions for agencies to loosen regulations in hopes of lowering premiums.

According to the administration official, who was not identified, Trump is expected to order the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury to work to allow people to purchase insurance through "association health plans," which would resemble large employers' health plans.

The measure would still fall under ACA restrictions such as a ban on lifetime limits.

Trump also is expected to order a pullback on regulations limiting "short-term medical insurance," instead allowing people to buy the lower-cost plans for up to one year, reversing an Obama administration ban on the plans for more than 90 days.

Trump's order is expected to include a directive for agencies to expand health reimbursement accounts, to allow employees to use the pretax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket medical costs.

The president promised the order after Senate Republicans did not advance a repeal proposal by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, which ended Republican efforts to roll back Obamacare at that time.

Trump on Friday issued new rules to allow employers to opt out of an Obamacare rule requiring employers to provide female employees with no-cost birth control coverage.

The new rule says that employers with religious or moral qualms can cover some birth control methods, but not others. The Obama-era rule applied to all FDA methods, including birth control pills and the controversial morning-after pill.

Trump's rule this week also could allow for insurance purchases across state lines, a plan Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, has championed for some time.

Trump has agreed with Paul that selling insurance across state lines could bring competition allowing premium costs to be lowered, but experts say that is not guaranteed, as costs can vary based on geographic location needs, reports PBS NewsHour.

Trump's order could damage Obamacare without repealing it, reports Vox. Coverage offered through large employers does not fall under the same rules as individual or small-group plans under Obamacare, and if association health plans are allowed, they also may not meet the same requirements, reports Vox.

Such plans also do not have to cover all of the ACA's essential health benefit rules or meet requirements about minimum bill coverage.

The plans also could allow younger, healthier recipients to seek coverage through association plans, leaving the older pool behind for coverage through Obamacare plans, leading to higher premiums for those people, critics say.

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Politics
President Donald Trump said early Tuesday he will use the "power of the pen" to give "great HealthCare to many people - FAST" because Congress has failed to repeal and replace Obamacare.
trump, healthcare, power of the pen
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2017-31-10
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 07:31 AM
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