President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that ends the enforcement of many of Obamacare’s worst elements despite Congress’ inability to pass any health care legislation.
Prior to signing the executive order, the president said:
"Today is only the beginning. In the coming months, we plan to take new measures to provide our people with even more relief and more freedom. And, by the way, on another subject, that will include massive tax cuts. We are going to get massive tax cuts … the whole country is looking for these massive tax cuts, and we will get them.
And we're going to also pressure Congress very strongly to finish the repeal and the replace of Obamacare once and for all. We will have great healthcare in our country ... this is promoting healthcare choice and competition all across the United States. This is going to be something that millions and millions of people will be signing up for, and they're going to be very happy. This will be great healthcare."
The order does the following:
- directs the Secretary of Labor to consider expanding access to Association Health Plans, which could potentially allow American employers to form groups across State lines;
- directs the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to consider expanding coverage through low cost short-term limited duration insurance; and
- 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.
Regarding the order, the White House released the following statements:
A broader interpretation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act could potentially allow employers in the same line of business anywhere in the country to join together to offer healthcare coverage to their employees … By potentially making it easier for employers to band together, workers could have access to a broader range of insurance options at lower rates in the large group market …
STLDI is not subject to costly Obamacare mandates and rules. One study found that on average STLDI costs one-third the price of the cheapest Obamacare plans. Despite its low cost, STLDI typically features broad provider networks and high coverage limits …
HRAs are employer-funded accounts that reimburse employees for healthcare expenses, including deductibles and copayments. The IRS does not count funds contributed to an HRA as taxable income. Expanded HRAs could potentially give American workers greater flexibility and control over how to finance their healthcare needs.