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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Trump hints at executive order on health care with 'power of the pen' tweet

    Trump hints at executive order on health care with 'power of the pen' tweet

    By LOUIS NELSON and ADAM CANCRYN
    10/10/2017 06:49 AM EDT

    President Donald Trump wrote online Tuesday morning that he plans to take unilateral steps to reform the nation’s healthcare system, hinting at signing an executive order without clarifying what that order might be.

    “Since Congress can't get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people – FAST,” Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning.

    The president did not immediately indicate what specific changes he plans to order to the nation’s healthcare system, although he has suggested in recent weeks that an executive order allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines would be forthcoming. Clarity on a timeline for those changes, beyond that they will happen “fast,” was also not immediately offered by the president.

    But the order is largely expected to target an expansion of association health plans -- or insurance sponsored by trade associations, community groups and other organizations. Those plans can be sold across state lines and would be exempt from Obamacare's essential benefit requirements.

    Republicans like Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) have championed association health plans as a way to lower insurance costs and give people more options, and Trump has repeatedly called for eliminating restrictions on selling across multiple states.

    Indeed, association health plans would likely give young, healthier enrollees a low-cost option compared with Obamacare plans that are more tightly regulated. But state regulators and insurers have warned that they also risk upsetting the Obamacare market's delicate balance by driving the cheapest enrollees into association health plans -- and sticking Obamacare insurers with an increasingly sicker and more expensive customer base.

    Trump cannot rewrite the regulations to allow association health plans on his own. But the executive order will likely direct federal agencies to reinterpret existing rules, paving the way to expanded sales of the alternate insurance.

    Trump has been vocal about his frustration with Congress’s inability to pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, a campaign promise that the president and his fellow Republicans ran on. A bill to do so narrowly cleared the House last spring, but the GOP effort sputtered and stalled in the Senate, where the Republican majority is much thinner.

    In an interview with Forbes published Tuesday morning, Trump reiterated his position that Obamacare is "a total mess" and insisted that while the healthcare law is now his responsibility, blame for its struggles fall entirely at the feet of his predecessor. "Obamacare is Obama's fault. It's never going to be our fault," Trump said.

    "What we're doing is trying to keep it afloat, because it's failing," the president said. "I mean the insurance companies are fleeing and have fled. They fled before I got here. But with that being said, no, Obamacare is Obama's fault. It's nobody else's fault."

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/1...th-care-243622
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Indeed, association health plans would likely give young, healthier enrollees a low-cost option compared with Obamacare plans that are more tightly regulated. But state regulators and insurers have warned that they also risk upsetting the Obamacare market's delicate balance by driving the cheapest enrollees into association health plans -- and sticking Obamacare insurers with an increasingly sicker and more expensive customer base.
    Association health plans are uniform and available to anyone who is part of the group, so they wouldn't appeal any more to young, healthy people who are part of these trade associations than they apply to older people with some issues who are part of the group. Rates, options, deductibles and co-pays may vary according to the plan you want, but that's fine. I think this is a good idea, a cross between Trump's erasing the lines and Rand Paul's associations!
    Last edited by Judy; 10-10-2017 at 01:37 PM.
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