Trump will sign executive order today changing the nature of Obamacare
The president will sign an executive order today that undoes at least some of the damage incurred when Democrats passed Obamacare.
In fact, Trump's order will repeal two key parts of Obamacare that made insurance so expensive. First, his order will allow small businesses and individuals the opportunity to band together to purchase insurance that would be exempt from many of the onerous mandatory coverage required by Obamacare. This will make health insurance more attractive to younger, healthier consumers who have mostly stayed away from Obamacare plans, driving up the cost of premiums and making it nearly impossible for insurance companies to make money.
The order attacks the very heart of Obamacare, which forces people to pay for coverage they don't need or want.
The second change will also benefit consumers who wish to purchase shorter-term health care plans. It will extend the time consumers can use these plans from three months to a year.
Experts questioned whether Trump has the legal authority to expand association health plans and whether some plans, but not others, could be exempt from Obamacare rules.
The action could open Trump to legal challenges from Democratic state attorneys general, who have said they will sue Trump if he tries to destroy Obamacare, a law that brought health insurance coverage to millions of Americans.
Please note that the law "brought health insurance coverage to millions of Americans" by forcing them to buy it or get covered under the Medicaid expansion under penalty of a "fee" or "fine," depending on which Obama administration official you believed.
Experts said the association health plans could attract young, healthy people and leave a sicker, more expensive patient pool in the individual insurance markets created under the healthcare law, driving up premiums and effectively eroding the law’s protection for those with pre-existing conditions.
Conservative groups and lawmakers, including Republican Senator Rand Paul, who said he has worked with Trump for months on the expected order, and Republican Senator Ron Johnson, have cheered the expected order. Paul opposed the Senate's most recent attempt to overhaul Obamacare because he said it left too many of Obamcare's regulations and spending programs in place.
Trump has taken a number of steps since assuming power in January to weaken or undermine Obamacare. He has not committed to making billions of dollars of payments to insurers guaranteed under Obamacare, prompting many to exit the individual market or hike premiums for 2018.
That's an extraordinary misstatement of the facts. Insurance companies were abandoning Obamacare in droves even before Trump took office. The reason they are leaving is because they are finding it impossible to make money. That held true before Trump took office and is certainly true today.
As for younger, healthier consumers leaving current Obamacare plans – they will hardly be missed. The authors of the law badly underestimated how popular it would be with the "young invincibles." The numbers of healthier consumers who signed up for Obamacare plans never came close to the number needed for insurance companies to make any money – even with the federal government's slush fund that paid off insurance companies for selling policies on the state exchanges.
The bottom line is that Trump's executive orders won't go into effect immediately because they will be challenged in court. This means that the best option is still going to be the repeal of Obamacare and a replacement that takes into account market forces and freedom of choice for consumers.