WASHINGTON – President Trump wasted no time in getting the executive branch’s wheels in motion toward repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Within hours of being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20, he signed an executive order that announced the incoming administration’s policy “to seek the prompt repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
The order opens the door for federal agencies to tackle ACA provisions such as the individual mandate and its tax penalties for not carrying insurance, as well as other financial aspects of the ACA that impact patients, providers, insurers, and manufacturers.
The order directs the secretaries of HHS, the Treasury department, and the Labor department to “exercise all authority and discretion available to them to provide greater flexibility to States and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs.”
With this order, President Trump also set the stage for creating a framework to sell insurance products across state lines by directing secretaries with oversight of insurance markets to “encourage the development of a free and open market in interstate commerce for the offering of healthcare services and health insurance, with the goal of achieving and preserving maximum options for patients and consumers.”
Little action is expected on the executive order until secretaries are approved for HHS, Treasury, and Labor. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) is scheduled to appear before the Senate Finance Committee on Jan. 24.