Ex­ec­u­tive or­der re­sets land­scape of health care

Foiled in Con­gress, Trump signs plan that un­der­mines Oba­macare

The Buffalo News - - FRONT PAGE -

branch. It im­me­di­ately touched off a fu­ri­ous de­bate over whether the move would fa­tally desta­bi­lize the Af­ford­able Care Act mar­ket­places or add wel­come op­tions to con­sumers com­plain­ing of high pre­mi­ums and not enough choice.

In Con­gress, the move seemed to in­ten­sify the po­lar­iza­tion over health care. The Sen­ate ma­jor­ity leader, Mitch McCon­nell of Ken­tucky, said the pres­i­dent was of­fer­ing “more af­ford­able health in­sur­ance op­tions” des­per­ately needed by con­sumers. But the Sen­ate Demo­cratic leader, Charles E. Schumer of New York, said Trump was “us­ing a wreck­ing ball to sin­gle-hand­edly rip apart our health care sys­tem.”

Most of the changes will not oc­cur un­til fed­eral agen­cies write and adopt reg­u­la­tions im­ple­ment­ing them. The process, which in­cludes a pe­riod for pub­lic com­ments, could take months. That means the or­der will prob­a­bly not af­fect in­sur­ance cov­er­age next year, but could lead to ma­jor changes in 2019.

“With th­ese ac­tions,” Trump said at a White House cer­e­mony, “we are mov­ing to­ward lower costs and more op­tions in the health care mar­ket, and tak­ing cru­cial steps to­ward sav­ing the Amer­i­can peo­ple from the night­mare of Oba­macare.”

“This is go­ing to be some­thing that mil­lions and mil­lions of peo­ple will be sign­ing up for,” the pres­i­dent pre­dicted, “and they’re go­ing to be very happy.’’

But many pa­tients, doc­tors, hospi­tal ex­ec­u­tives and state in­sur­ance reg­u­la­tors were not

In­sur­ance on Page A8

Wash­ing­ton Post

Pres­i­dent Trump’s changes prob­a­bly won’t af­fect cov­er­age un­til 2019.

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