Trump’s first move to repeal Care Act
Executive order is signed
KELLYANNE Conway, a key adviser to President Donald Trump, said the new administration plans to end the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement that most people have health insurance, a step that could destabilise the law’s markets.
Conway, in an interview airing yesterday on NBC News’ Sunday Today With Willie Geist, appeared to indicate that the law’s requirement that most employers offer coverage to their full-time workers would also end.
Trump signed an executive order on Friday declaring that he intends to repeal the law known as Obamacare, and it was not clear if Conway’s remarks are a signal of strategy related to that order or if she was referring to legislative goals for the promised repeal and replacement of the ACA.
“We are doing away with this Obamacare penalty,” she said in the interview conducted on Thursday. “This tax has been such a burden on many Americans. And also a burden on many small business owners, many of whom complained to us that the Obamacare penalty, along with so many other draconian regulations, are just a stranglehold.”
Trump campaigned on a pledge to repeal and replace the ACA, also called Obamacare, which he dubbed a “disaster.”
On Friday, his first day in office, he signed an executive order declaring that his administration will seek “prompt repeal” of the law and commanding federal agencies to try to waive or delay requirements of Obamacare that impose economic or regulatory burdens on states, families, the health care industry and others.
Presidents cannot use executive orders to end laws unilaterally, so it is unlikely that Trump’s order would entirely end the Obamacare mandates, according to Timothy Jost, a professor with expertise in health law at Washington and Lee University School of Law.
But the administration could give more flexibility for people to avoid the requirement by saying it poses a hardship. Undoing the ACA’s requirement that all people have coverage could destabilise the market.
That is because healthier people might choose not to buy health plans, leaving only sick people covered.
If the administration doesn’t enforce the mandate, that could be enough to push some insurers from the market, according to California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. – Bloomberg