Trump’s first move to re­peal Care Act

Ex­ec­u­tive or­der is signed

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Zachary Tracer

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.

Bur­den

“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

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