Frus­trated by Con­gress, Trump signs or­der to weaken Oba­macare

Stabroek News - - WORLD NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON, (Reuters) - Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump yes­ter­day signed an or­der to make it eas­ier for Amer­i­cans to buy bare-bones health in­sur­ance plans, us­ing his pres­i­den­tial pow­ers to un­der­mine Oba­macare af­ter fel­low Repub­li­cans in Con­gress failed to re­peal the 2010 law.

Trump is­sued the ex­ec­u­tive or­der aimed at let­ting small busi­nesses band to­gether across state lines to buy cheaper, less reg­u­lated health plans for their em­ploy­ees with fewer ben­e­fits. Such new in­sur­ance op­tions, how­ever, may not be avail­able un­til 2019, and the or­der could face le­gal chal­lenges from Demo­cratic state at­tor­neys gen­eral.

It was Trump’s most con­crete step to undo Oba­macare since he took of­fice in Jan­uary promis­ing to dis­man­tle Demo­cratic for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s sig­na­ture do­mes­tic pol­icy achieve­ment.

Sen­ate Demo­cratic leader Chuck Schumer ac­cused Trump of “us­ing a wreck­ing ball to sin­gle-hand­edly rip apart our health­care sys­tem.”

Later on Thurs­day, Politico re­ported that Trump plans to cut off sub­sidy pay­ments to in­sur­ers sell­ing Oba­macare cov­er­age, cit­ing two peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter.

Trump has re­peat­edly threat­ened to stop the pay­ments, which are made di­rectly to in­sur­ance com­pa­nies to help cover out-of-pocket med­i­cal ex­penses for low-in­come Amer­i­cans en­rolled in in­di­vid­ual health­care plans un­der Oba­macare.

(Reuters photo)

Pres­i­dent Trump smiles af­ter sign­ing an Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der to make it eas­ier for Amer­i­cans to buy bare-bone health in­sur­ance plans and cir­cum­vent Oba­macare.

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