Trump ditches Con­gress on health care

The West Australian - - WORLD -

Don­ald Trump has used spe­cial pres­i­den­tial pow­ers to be­gin dis­man­tling Oba­maCare as he sought to cir­cum­vent Con­gress to de­liver his cam­paign prom­ises.

The US Pres­i­dent signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der ex­pand­ing types of health­care pro­vi­sion in a move that he said would help cre­ate “stag­ger­ing” com­pe­ti­tion between providers and drive down costs for mil­lions of Amer­i­cans.

One drive is aimed at mak­ing it eas­ier for small busi­nesses to form as­so­ci­a­tions across State bound­aries. Such groups do not have to com­ply with as many Oba­maCare rules. An­other lifts a three-month limit on short-term health in­sur­ance plans, which are cheaper but pro­vide less com­pre­hen­sive cover.

Mr Trump said the move would help bring down pre­mi­ums that have “sky­rock­eted” since for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s leg­is­la­tion was en­acted. Crit­ics said it would en­cour­age young Amer­i­cans to switch from tra­di­tional plans — driv­ing up costs for those who re­mained.

Mr Trump also faced fire over his tweets crit­i­cis­ing hur­ri­cane-hit Puerto Rico’s ad­min­is­tra­tion again and sug­gest­ing it was time Fed­eral re­sponse teams left.

But the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives ap­proved $US36.5 bil­lion in emer­gency re­lief for Puerto Rico and other ar­eas hit by re­cent dis­as­ters.

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