The Wall Street Journal has reported that the Trump administration is about to take another step to reform America’s healthcare system. President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order that will roll back some of Obama’s former healthcare rules in an effort to make plans more affordable.
“The order is aimed at expanding insurance options for Americans who buy coverage on their own or work for a small employer, and would include broad instructions for agencies to explore ways to loosen regulations and potentially lower premiums, as well as looking at three specific areas of health insurance. It has been anticipated by industry officials and political observers in the days since the GOP repeal effort crashed,” writes The Wall Street Journal. “Republicans have long contended that the insurance rules set by the 2010 health law, popularly dubbed Obamacare, have driven up premiums in the individual and small group markets, for healthier Americans especially. Democrats and supporters of the law typically counter that the rules have protected consumers from unwittingly buying shoddy products and helped subsidize the costs of sicker Americans.”
An official said this weekend that the order will direct the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury to create a system where people can band together and buy health insurance through “association health plans.”
The order will also make short-term medical insurance available again. These options offer limited coverage, but are affordable. The Obama administration had deemed this insurance as inadequate and had banned these type of plans that were for more than 90 days.
“In addition, the executive order would order agencies to expand health reimbursement accounts, employer-funded arrangements that employees can use to pay out-of-pocket medical costs and premiums. Obama-era guidance from 2013 had prevented pretax employer dollars in the arrangements from being used to buy health insurance on the individual market,” writes The Wall Street Journal.
The president said this weekend that he has reached out to Democrats to come up with a healthcare solution.
“I called Chuck Schumer yesterday to see if the Dems want to do a great HealthCare Bill. Obamacare is badly broken, big premiums. Who knows!” tweeted Trump Saturday.
On September 27, Trump alluded to the executive order.
“I am considering an executive order on associations, and that will take care of a tremendous number of people with regard to health care,” said Trump. “I’ll probably be signing a very major executive order where people can go out, cross state lines, do lots of things, and buy their own health care. And that will be probably signed next week. It’s being finished now. It’s going to cover a lot of territory and a lot of people — millions of people.”
Although Republicans have not replaced the ACA like they had hoped, they haven’t given up their mission to reform the healthcare system with other workarounds
“The health care debate is not over. Conservatives are still fighting for free-market reforms to the health care system. I am excited to be working with President Trump on this initiative,” said Senator Rand Paul. “Association plans would let plumbers, carpenters, welders or any type of small business band together to get group health insurance. Literally any group — your church, the National Rifle Association, the American Civil Liberties Union — any group of people who choose to do so could offer cheaper, better health insurance.”
Editor’s note: At least some politicians are starting to think out of the box.