In what seemed to have come out of nowhere Rand Paul announced he would be at the signing of the executive order to start the destruction of Obamacare:
Rand Paul: “President Trump is doing what I believe is the biggest free market reform of health care in a generation.” pic.twitter.com/rW1X7GO2f9
— Axios (@axios) October 12, 2017
What’s next: There are still plenty of big outstanding questions about how each of these policies would work, which federal agencies will have to fill in through regulations. (The executive order itself is just a set of marching orders to those agencies.) That’s a long process, and insurance companies have already finalized their most of their offerings for 2018, so these changes won’t be reflected in actual insurance plans until 2019.
- Expand access to association health plans, in which a group of small employers can band together to buy insurance as a collective.
- Expand access to short-term health plans. These policies don’t cover much and don’t cost much; today, you can only keep one for three months. Trump will extend that time limit to a year.
- Expand the use of health reimbursement accounts, which allow employers to set aside tax-free money to help cover their employees’ health care costs. Workers will likely be able to tap that money to pay the premiums for a plan in the individual market.
The reviews: Conservatives are thrilled. Sen. Rand Paul, a champion of association health plans, will be at the White House for the signing.
But many independent policy analysts are less enthusiastic. They worry that these changes will divert healthy people into cheaper policies outside the ACA’s exchanges, leaving those markets with a sicker and more expensive customer base, which would cause premiums to rise.
President Donald Trump announced on Thursday he was “taking the first steps to providing millions of Americans with Obamacare relief” by signing an executive order that he claimed would expand competition and lower rates.
The order, he said, would “cost the United States government virtually nothing and people will have great great healthcare. And when I say people, I mean by the millions and millions.”
The executive order would direct federal agencies to study how to make it easier for small businesses, and possibly individuals, to join together and buy health insurance, a senior administration official said Thursday.
Separately, the order would allow consumers to buy short-term policies, which don’t have to comply with Obamacare’s protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
Trump said the measures “should have been done a long time ago, and could have been done a long time ago.”
Trump has officially decided to take healthcare into his own hands. With the embarrassment he suffered trying to push an Obamacare repeal through the Senate he is deciding to forgo them all together. Now, this is going to be a huge win for Trump. As he begins to take out Obamacare through executive orders it will win him major points with voters across the country while still exposing the swamp who voted against the repeal when he had the chance.