THE REVIEW with Michael McGrady
In the latest movement toward healthcare changes, President Donald Trump just signed a presidential executive order to allow for Affordable Care Act “alternatives” and to cut down on current regulation brought forth by the landmark 2009/2010 healthcare reform law.
President Donald Trump just signed a presidential memorandum and a following executive order that is intentioned to “promoting healthcare choice and competition across the United States.”
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky–a Trump critic and self-identified libertarian Republican–worked side by side with the administration to bring this executive order to light.
The latest executive order compels all federal agencies subject to enforcing components of Obamacare to begin cutting back on regulation so that insurance alternatives can be welcomed.
Fighting Obamacare–with executive power
“The cost of the Obamacare has been so outrageous, it is absolutely destroying everything in its wake,” Trump said at a White House signing ceremony for the order. He later was quoted in a White House statement from the Office of the Press Secretary saying: “The time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines, which will create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down and provide far better care.”
Ultimately, that appears to be the intention with the newest executive order to be signed into law Trump. Winning the hearts of free-market groups, libertarians, and Congressional conservatives alike, the latest order will grant consumers the ability to purchase “bare-bone” health insurance plans to help alleviate costs.
This also comes as Trump’s approach to repealing Obamacare after the Republican establishment in Congress failed to repeal the 2010 law after several attempts.
Swallowing his pride, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky applauded the new order.
“Obamacare is failing and people across the country are hurting,” McConnell said in a statement. “I am pleased that the administration is looking for new ways to promote more affordable health insurance policies to better meet the needs of working families.”
Such words are likely very poisonous to utter given the fact that McConnell has become the target of far-right, conservative, and pro-full repeal elements of the GOP who outwardly criticized his leadership. Just like his colleague, Speaker Paul Ryan, the political fallout appears to be very apparent.
However, McConnell’s other colleague from the Senate–Rand Paul–has shown to be an unlikely ally for Trump’s repeal efforts.
“Today’s action is one of the most significant free-market health care reforms in a generation and is a rare move by Washington to reduce government interference and provide more affordable health care options to everyday Americans,” Paul said in a statement. “I applaud President Trump for following through on this action, which I have been working on with him for several months.”
Known for taking very aggressive stances opposing increasing executive power, Paul sought out the ear of the president after he was snubbed by several of his Congressional colleagues who wished to opt for a “skinny repeal” or “Obamacare lite” rather than a full-out repeal. Nevertheless, Paul was able to agree with the administration–surprisingly–on a solution that would benefit the efforts to ending the Affordable Care Act in its current form.
Confounding observers, Paul–like mentioned above–was able to find common ground with a president that he has disagreed on key issues. To remilitarizing the country’s law enforcement to continuing the conflict in Afghanistan, both Paul and Trump are near-polar opposites.
No matter the internal divides within the GOP, Congressional Democrats and progressive leaders have condemned Trump’s executive order–as expected.
“Having failed to repeal the law in Congress, the president is sabotaging the system,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said to reporters. Essentially, Schumer summed up his dismay with the executive order by characterizing Trump’s actions as a means of “using a wrecking ball to single-handedly rip apart our healthcare system.”
Universal disgust from the left on the matter of the repeal also clarified the sentiment that any future moves to further push the socialized-health care narrative would be a potential waste of time.
For example, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont recently introduced legislation that would provide “Medicare for all” given the concerns that he voiced over Trump’s plans to end Obamacare. However, a bill like this would carry no weight in the end given that the order ultimately deauthorizes components of Obamacare regulation that elements loyal to Sanders used to push the single-payer proposals.
Briefly, the order will dramatically change how federal agencies charged with administering Obamacare will operate in this regard.
To spare the details of the murky policy jargon, the order provides for a de-authorization and repeal of current executive branch regulations to allow for specific forms of insurance alternatives to be purchased by financially-conscious consumers.
The plans that healthcare consumers enroll into aren’t required to meet specific criteria for Obamacare’s “full-care” criteria. In essence, consumers are given the ability to purchase healthcare–through employers, the individual market, etc.–that meets their financial and personal healthcare needs without paying a fixed price for the care they would view as unneeded.
The order states: “My Administration will also continue to focus on promoting competition in healthcare markets and limiting excessive consolidation throughout the healthcare system. To the extent consistent with law, government rules and guidelines affecting the United States healthcare system should” expand alternative health insurance options and other reforms.
Read the full executive order here.