President Donald Trump took executive action on Thursday to begin doing what Republicans in the U.S. Senate have refused to do.
GOP hold-outs have rejected lawmakers’ attempts to repeal the unpopular and expensive “Affordable” Care Act, the former president’s signature legislation. The new executive order would allow consumers to buy health insurance across state lines, among other things.
From the Washington Times:
In an event at the White House, Mr. Trump portrayed his action as “the first step to providing millions of Americans with Obamacare relief.”
“This will cost the United States government virtually nothing, and people will have great, great health care,” Mr. Trump said, surrounded by employers and administration officials. “This will create tremendous competition. It could have been done a long time ago.”
Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican who attended the event, called it “the biggest free-market reform of health care in a generation.”
“This reform, if it works and goes as planned, will allow millions of people to get insurance across state lines at an inexpensive price,” Mr. Paul said.
The order would empower consumers to use leverage to increase competition among insurance companies. It would also expand the duration of short-term insurance from three months to a year.
“With these actions, we are moving toward lower costs and more options in the health care market and taking crucial steps toward saving the American people from the nightmare of Obamacare,” the president said. “We will also pressure Congress very strongly to finish the repeal and replacement of Obamacare once and for all.”
Senator Rand Paul, who’s been critical of the repeal bills, wrote an op-ed explaining the executive order.
All group insurance guarantees access regardless of pre-existing conditions. But what is great about cross-state Health Associations is that they will be exempt from some Obamacare and State regulations. This exemption from regulations is why cross-state group insurance has seen the lowest rise in premiums of any health insurance available.
Most of the “fake” replacements offered don’t fix the individual market; they simply keep in place Obamacare’s subsidies for the individual market. My hope is that cross-state Health Associations will allow so many people to flee the individual market that subsidies will no longer be necessary.