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Trump Signs Executive Order Concerning Healthcare

Trump Signs Executive Order Concerning Healthcare

President Trump signed an executive order Thursday that's meant to provide more options for people shopping for health insurance.

Numerous new insurance products could be exempt from requirements of the Affordable Care Act that Republicans say have contributed to sharp increases in premiums but that supporters say have created a baseline of care that has protected consumers from "junk insurance".

Trump signed the order in the White House's Roosevelt Room surrounded by Vice President Mike Pence, members of his Cabinet and Congress.

"It should have been done a long time ago, and it could have been done a long time ago", lamented Trump.

It further directs the Departments of the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services to consider changes to Health Reimbursement Arrangements "so employers can make better use of them for their employees", according to the White House.

Separately, the order would allow consumers to buy short-term policies, which don't have to comply with Obamacare's protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

But the changes Trump hopes to bring about may not be finalized in time to affect coverage for 2019, let alone next year.

Neal, the top Democrat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, blasted the so-called Association Health Plans Executive Order as "more of the same sabotage and undermining that we have come to expect from President Trump and congressional Republicans on health care". That could draw younger and healthier customers away from Obamacare and send premiums skyrocketing for sicker people left in the exchanges.

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield, condemned President Donald Trump Thursday for signing an executive order that could deal a major blow to the Affordable Care Act.




He called the order the "first steps to providing millions of Americans with Obamacare relief".

"I will be signing something probably this week which is going to go a long way to take care of people that have been so badly hurt on health care", Trump said Tuesday ahead of a meeting with Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state.

"They will be able to buy across state lines. They will get great competitive health care and it will cost the United States nothing".

Congressman Joe Kennedy III, D-Brookline, also took issue with the president's executive order. The plan has drawn backing from lawmakers like Sen.

White House domestic policy director Andrew Bremberg said that Trump still believes Congress needs to repeal and replace the Obama-era Affordable Care Act.

But consumer groups and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, representing state officials, have opposed association health plans because they could be largely exempt from state regulation.

The order, however, does not lift the Obamacare individual mandate that requires most Americans to have some form of health insurance or face a tax penalty. The Obama administration said that coverage offered to dozens or hundreds of small businesses through a trade or professional association would not be treated as a single large employer health plan for the goal of insurance regulation. The administration said that employers participating in these plans would not be allowed to exclude employees or develop premiums based on health conditions.

The order also loosens restrictions on "short-term" health insurance plans that were created to offer temporary coverage for people who are between jobs, for example.


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