Trump Signs Executive Order To Begin Unwinding Obamacare

Tyler Durden's picture

Having failed to repeal (or replace) Obamacare in the Congress on three separate occasions, on Thursday morning Trump took matters into his own hands, when as previewed last night, the President signed an executive order to begin the process of unwinding Obamacare, paving the way for sweeping changes to health-insurance regulations that would allow an expansion of less-comprehensive health plans.

“We’ve been hearing about the disaster of Obamacare for so long,” Trump said in signing the order at a White House ceremony. “For a long time, I’ve been hearing repeal, replace, repeal, replace.”

He then said that the order is "starting that process" to repeal ObamaCare. It will be the "first steps to providing millions of Americans with ObamaCare relief."

The order will direct federal agencies to take actions aimed at providing lower-cost options and fostering competition in the individual insurance markets, according to the Wall Street Journal. The specific steps included in the order will represent only the first moves in his White House’s effort to strike parts of the law, the officials said adding that the order is just the beginning of the administration’s actions related to the health law. Furthermore, it will be months, rather than weeks, for even the most simple changes in the executive order to take effect, and the order leaves key details to the Labor Department, in particular, to determine after a formal rule-making process, including the solicitation of public comment.

While Trump’s order seeks to expand the ability of small businesses and other groups to band together to buy health insurance through what are known as association health plans (AHPs), and also lifts limits on short-term health insurance plans, in some ways the order's impact remains a mystery as the full extent of the effects will not be immediately clear. The executive order largely does not make changes itself; rather it directs agencies to issue new regulations or guidance. Those new rules will go through a notice and comment period that could take months, officials said.

“The policies outlined in the executive order are the beginning of the actions the administration will take to provide relief to people harmed by Obamacare,” said Andrew Bremberg, director of the administration’s domestic policy council, on a call with reporters earlier Thursday. “You should expect additional actions coming from the administration in months to come.”

Critics however warned that the order could undermine the stability of ObamaCare markets by opening up skimpier, cheaper plans that would divert healthy people away from ObamaCare plans. They also warn that the policies outlined in the order will end up pulling healthier people out of Obamacare’s existing markets, which have strict requirements on what services have to be covered, such as maternity or mental health coverage. The result would be fewer people in the Affordable Care Act’s markets, and the ones who remained could be sicker - driving up premiums, and forcing more people to look elsewhere for coverage.

Democrats warn that the order is part of Trump’s larger plan to “sabotage” the health law and accomplish on his own what Congress could not; democrats have already been crying foul about administration cutbacks to outreach about the coming ObamaCare enrollment period, which begins Nov. 1, including a 90 percent cut to the advertising budget.

"Having failed to repeal the law in Congress, the president is sabotaging the system, using a wrecking ball to singlehandedly rip apart our health care system," Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said in a statement. "If the system deteriorates, make no mistake about it, the blame will fall squarely on the president's back," he added.

Which, of course, is convenient for Obama's signature legacy law, which was already sending premiums soaring over the past few years: now that Trump is doing what he can to undo Obamacare, he will become the scapegoat for everything that was wrong with the law in the first place. The bottom line is simple: if premiums continue rising - which they likely will - it will be Trump's fault now.

By boosting alternative insurance arrangements that would be exempt from some key ACA rules, the change would provide more options for consumers. But health-insurance experts say it could raise costs for sicker people by drawing healthier, younger consumers to these alternative plans, which could be less expensive and offer fewer benefits.

“It would essentially create a parallel regulatory structure within the individual and small group markets that is freed from the various consumer protections established,” said Spencer Perlman, a policy analyst with Veda Partners, a Bethesda, Maryland-based advisory firm. “The end result could be a death spiral for ACA-compliant plans.”

Which, if the Democrats are right, is precisely what Trump hopes to accomplish.

No matter what the final outcome of Trump's EO, one thing is clear: at least 12.7 million taxpayers will be happy with the outcome. As Bloomberg reports, according to the Internal Revenue Service, 12.7 million taxpayers claimed a health-care coverage exemption on their tax forms, some because they couldn’t find an affordable plan. Condeluci said people are sitting on the sidelines because the individual market is too costly.

“Now, there might be an option for them,” he said.

Of course, another 12 or so million will be less than excited: about 83% of the 12.2 million people in the Obamacare marketplace receive subsidies, i.e., premium tax credits, to help cover the cost of insurance premiums, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. For those who don’t get subsidies, the coverage can be expensive. The average monthly premium for a family of four with a $60,000 annual income was $1,090, or $13,080 a year for a mid-level “silver” plan, according to a 2016 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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EmmittFitzhume's picture

The pendulum swings equally in both directions!!

InjectTheVenom's picture

Awesome !

Now, what about that WALL  ? !

truthseeker69's picture

A wall? You're incredibly stupid. 


How about getting rid of welfare? That's a real policy change.  That's #MAGA

yrad's picture

For the love of God, TERM LIMITS! This is the plug that keeps the swamp full...

Rex Andrus's picture

A wall where the revolting door is would be best.

The_Juggernaut's picture

Pretty sad when Trump is the only adult in Washington.

Muddy1's picture

Don't get your hopes up about this EO.  Before the week ands tomorrow a scummy judge will issue an order stopping this from being implemented just like the travel ban was stopped.  It rmains to be seen which president will have appointed the judge.

vato poco's picture

SUCK it, bifactional uniparty

All Risk No Reward's picture

Yes, they Debt-Money Monopolist financed monolithic political false dichotomy.

Do we really want to cheer a Debt-Money Monopolist financed and promoted operative DICTATORSHIP?

BanksterCare is a really bad screw job, but a Bankster Dictatorship is even worse.

Can't people see the setup?

JimmyJones's picture

Term Limits would be great but that would require a ammendment to the constitution, never gonna happen. Well at least not with the RINOs and Dems still in office.

"Critics however warned that the order could undermine the stability of ObamaCare markets by opening up skimpier, cheaper plans that would divert healthy people away from ObamaCare plans. They also warn that the policies outlined in the order will end up pulling healthier people out of Obamacare’s existing markets, which have strict requirements on what services have to be covered, such as maternity or mental health coverage. The result would be fewer people in the Affordable Care Act’s markets, and the ones who remained could be sicker - driving up premiums, and forcing more people to look elsewhere for coverage."

Skimpier, cheaper plans, yeah its called making options available that people can afford.  Now what do we do about the skyrocketing cost of health care, the 200 dollar asprin at the hospital, that makes premiums more expensive?

govtsucks's picture

How about posting prices for medical procedures and medicine, so people actually know what stuff costs? Price discovery works for everything else we buy, but for some reason it was determined that we shouldn't be privy to the cost of our health care.

All Risk No Reward's picture

California has term limits - they don't matter.

The problem is the monolithic financier of all the major politicians.

They don't care if they finance A or B or C... or Z, just that they finance whomever gets selected.

PS - CA politicians from both fake parties actually get together to increase taxes and tyranny while pretending that Bankstercans oppose them. Bankstercrats play right along, duping the befuddled masses of programmed political dolts.

“We live surrounded by a systematic appeal to a dream world which all mature, scientific reality would reject. We, quite literally, advertise our commitment to immaturity, mendacity and profound gullibility. It is as the hallmark of the culture. And it is justified as being economically indispensable.”
~John Kenneth Galbraith

cheech_wizard's picture

The wall is so the new catapult system for sending illegal Mexicans home on the cheap will act as a real deterrent to future illegal immigrants.

Achieving optimal velocity and height to cause just the right amount of splatter upon landing is the real measure of success.




oncemore's picture

Without wellfare there willl be almost no immigration, but you will make lot of chocolate people in the cou try angry.

STP's picture

That's ok, we're prepared for that.  Not exactly a shortage of useless eaters, that's for sure.

JRobby's picture

The agenda will progress after 2018 mid-terms. Do you think Bannon left the WH to work the mid-terms for the next year because he had nothing better to do? His time there was exploratory and to observe who the real "swampers" are.

People are of course impatient. Trump is as well.

Rapunzal's picture

It's a bone to the people, we need to believe he is gonna change something. At least a bit of hope keeps alive. He is a puppet and the handlers of the NWO know he has to deliver something.
Unless he is not getting rid of the tax penalty any change is useless.

jin187's picture

Pen and a phone. Doin' it Obeezy style!

wisehiney's picture

Bust em up Trump!

gatorengineer's picture

Ok, having trouble connecting the dots.  Trump signs an order to encourage more people to enroll in Obowel care, by lowering the premiums and he is "unwinding the program".... OK, help me here.  The penalty is not in force, so its not required to have insurance, and if you were shelling out 2k a month, you wouldnt be terribly likely to sign up for what are in essence catastrophic coverage plans.....

Once again I am missing it.  If he wanted to crush obowel care, he would have signed an order requiring all plans to cover say Gender Reassignment surgery....  E.G. drive a doubling of the premiums so no one could afford it... Game over for it, and Congress would have had to ""do"" something, and the left would have had to support it....

Raffie's picture

I got some friends who feel everyone should have health care for free. Nothing is free in this world.

They voted OhBummer 2x as well. 


aliens is here's picture

Ask your friends to give you free meals for a year and see what they say.

Raffie's picture

They feel socialism is best. but get mad when I call it Communism Lite.

They even had the gall to say Jesus was a socialist and Bernie Sanders shares the same ideas so there for Bernie should be President.

I need new friends........ 

gatorengineer's picture

They must skip over the teach a man to fish part of the bible....

Raffie's picture

Socialism will never work because the heart of man. Greed, power, lust and so on..................

It is fun to point out Scandinavian countries to them. "SEE IT DOES WORK! They are socialist" then I dump water on their candle of hope "NO THEY ARE NOT! They just pay a lot higher taxes"

Sparehead's picture

They’re probably thinking of the part of the bible that doesn’t exist where Jesus says “from each according to their ability, and to each according to their needs (provided there’s any left after I’ve taken my giant cut as the ruling elite.)”

BrownCoat's picture

"Jesus was a socialist and Bernie Sanders shares the same ideas"

Does that mean they want Bernie nailed to a tree?  The Democratic Party almost tried.

Consuelo's picture



"I got some friends who feel..."


There are volumes to be spoken about that (1) word and the devastating repercussions it has had over the past 30-odd years. 

WhiteHose's picture

Have those friends ask the canadians about their "free" healthcare

GunnyG's picture

It won't matter. Trudeau is busy raising his sissified kids who will likely be kissing Muslim ass like he does.

We're going to need another wall!

Defiated's picture

we are soon to be access to 'Pot'....we are expecting an increase in 'Pizza Parlours'..

we generally don't own guns & don't feel the need to...

Trudeau is 'harmless'...good enough for us!


Please build the Northern Wall

Defiated's picture

Canadian here...No Complaints! question

WhiteHose's picture

yes, until youre sick and cant be seen for a year! Not a question , a fact! 

all-priced-in's picture

Ask them if the doctors and nurses will work for free, if the hospital will get free electricity and free medicine. Then say you don’t mean free you mean paid for by someone else. That’s really not the same thing fool!

jin187's picture

This will eventually end with doctors being paid a flat fee or salary by the government, with private practice being illegal like Canada. Because people want to spend 15 years, and have 5 mortgages worth of debt to be a defacto slave to the masses.

Sparehead's picture

I bet I know who usually pays the bar tab.

small axe's picture

Trump's plan allows employers to form groups to access health plans across state lines, but these intrastate plans will not be marketed to individuals. Where is the "reform" in continuing to allow individuals to be crippled by spiraling costs and unavoidable care?

For the self-employed as well as for individuals, this latest attempt at establishing a framework for affordable healthcare is an insult. 

Rex Andrus's picture

Your thieving state government gets their cut of your assets from their pharisee cronies. Investigate them. You will be appalled by what you find.

curbjob's picture

The best Trump could do to make health care more affordable, would be to normalize relations with Cuba.


gatorengineer's picture

Drs are better in India and SE asia medical tourism is big...