Trump’s health care end run reflects frustrations
WASHINGTON » Frustrated over setbacks in Congress, President Donald Trump wielded his rule-making power Thursday to launch an end run that might get him closer to his goal of repealing and replacing “Obamacare.”
Whether Trump’s executive order will be the play that breaks through isn’t clear.
Experts say consumers aren’t likely to see major changes any time soon, although the White House is promising lower costs and more options.
Some experts warned that hard-won protections for older adults and people in poor health could be undermined new measures in coming months, adding, “we’re going to also pressure Congress very strongly to finish the repeal and replace of ‘Obamacare’ once and for all.”
Democrats denounced Trump’s order as more “sabotage” while Republicans called it “bold action” to help consumers. A major small business group praised the president, while doctors, insurers, and state regulators said they have concerns and are waiting to details.
“We want to make sure that all the consumer protections are there and included,” said Michael Munger, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
One of the main ideas from the administration involves easing the way for groups of employers to sponsor coverage that can be marketed across the land. That reflects Trump’s longstanding belief that competition across state lines will lead to lower premiums.
Those “association health plans” could be shielded from some state and federal insurance requirements. Responding to concerns, the White House said participating employers could not exclude any workers from the plan, or charge more to those in poor health. Self-employed people might be able to join.
The Associated Press