The newly inaugurated President of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump, signed his first executive order just hours after being sworn into office. The said EO concerns the Affordable Care Act, also commonly known as Obamacare. So what will the new administration’s impact be on the ACA? Will we still be able to get affordable health insurance quotes from providers?
What is Obamacare?
Obamacare is a US healthcare reform law enacted by former US President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. It was the most significant overhaul of the health care system in the nation since 1965. Basically, it was designed to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance and to lower the uninsured rate in the country by reducing healthcare costs whilst expanding insurance coverage.
President Trump’s Position on Obamacare
Before his inauguration, Trump said he wanted to improve health coverage for all Americans. He was also very vocal about his position on Obamacare even during the campaign period. In fact, he promised that he would begin repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act on his very first day as President and he did just that. He signed a one-page directive, which gave agencies the authority to “grant waivers, exemptions, and delays of provisions in the Affordable Care Act”.
With this step, the intention of the Trump administration may be clear, but somehow, it also poses an uncertainty on Americans as far as health insurance plans are concerned.
Concerns About the Executive Order
The EO may be a bit vague for everyone as of now, but it appears to be directed on undoing the mandate which requires individuals to carry health insurances or else they face hefty fines. It states that federal agencies can grant waivers and exemptions which impose costs on individuals and that the federal government must allow greater flexibility in carrying out programs on health care.
People who have benefited from Obamacare may be feeling some hesitations because of the vagueness of the EO. Will they lose their coverage? The order does not target the health insurance industry directly, but insurers may get apprehensive as the new mandate can make the market unsustainable. Some even feel that the EO may cause interference and commotion among health providers and patients.
Now the question is, how quickly can the changes to Obamacare take effect? The impact will definitely not be felt this year as most government rules have already been incorporated and signed into contracts with insurance companies.
The Trump administration can regulate but the law does not allow the president to repeal independently. Changes to current laws require the participation of Congress and can take a long time to take effect.
President Trump also promised that he and his team are developing a health care plan which is better than Obamacare. He promises more coverage for Americans. Since his administration is just starting, we can only hope that there will only be a smooth transition that befnefits everyone.