12:07 PM 10/12/2017
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday striking a unilateral blow against Obamacare after his Republican-controlled Congress repeatedly failed to follow through on the campaign promise.
Trump’s executive order directs his administration to begin formulating an approach to allow small businesses to join together to purchase coverage through what are known as Association Health Plans (AHPs). The executive order also does away with limitations on short term health insurance plans previously in place under Obamacare.
The Trump administration and Congressional allies like conservative Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul are selling the executive order as an immediate path to increased consumer choice and the associated decline coverage costs.
“This is a first step to make it easier for employees to help their workers. With these actions we’re moving toward lower costs and more options in the health care market,” Trump said during a White House event Thursday attended by small business owners.
Obamacare supporters cast the executive order as a cynical attempt at undermining the efficacy of Obamacare and said the move might be enough to completely disrupt the program’s ability to function.
“It would have a very negative impact on the markets,” Mike Kreidler, the insurance commissioner in Washington State, told the New York Times. “Our state is a poster child of what can go wrong. Association health plans often shun the bad risks and stay with the good risks.”
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