Executive order resets landscape of health care
Foiled in Congress, Trump signs plan that undermines Obamacare
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
President Trump’s changes probably won’t affect coverage until 2019.