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Trump’s First Executive Order Targets Obamacare

Trump’s First Executive Order Targets Obamacare

May impact the individual mandate and minimum coverage requirements

Having long promised to undo immediately as much of ObamaCare as he can by executive order, President Trump kept his word.  Mere hours after his swearing in, Trump signed a flurry of documents, including his first EO on ObamaCare.

Because ObamaCare is, as the left is so fond of saying, “the law of the land,” Trump can only do so much to undo ObamaCare via EO. That “only so much,” however, is quite considerable given the overreach of his predecessor.

A key section of this EO deals with this relief:

Sec. 2. To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) and the heads of all other executive departments and agencies (agencies) with authorities and responsibilities under the Act shall exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.

You can read the full text of this EO here.

Watch the report:

The relief offered here may result in a flurry of waivers for the individual mandate.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The broadly written health-care order appears to lay the groundwork for waiving or minimizing the penalty for Americans who don’t buy health insurance, which would essentially void the requirement altogether. That would cause problems for insurers, who worry their healthiest customers would forgo the coverage, leaving only sick patients who are the most expensive to cover.

Already, insurance companies in a number of states worry that their markets are in shaky condition, and anything that drains healthy customers could be a fatal blow to the individual insurance markets, including the health-care exchanges where people can shop for subsidized coverage.

. . . . “It’s a wide-ranging order that could have major ramifications for the ACA,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at Kaiser Family Foundation. “It suggests that broad waivers could be granted exempting people from the individual mandate penalty, which could create chaos in the individual insurance market.”

Waivers may also be granted to employers who are currently required by ObamaCare to provide health insurance and to insurers who, if waived, could write policies that did not meet ObamaCare’s coverage requirements (and to consumers who would not be penalized for failing to meet them).

The Wall Street Journal continues:

The order also directs agencies to give states as much flexibility as possible in implementing the law. Under the Obama administration, states negotiated for flexibility and won some accommodations. It is clear they will have an easier path under Mr. Trump.

Waivers could allow states to end the requirement most employers provide health insurance or to loosen requirements that insurers provide certain mandated benefits.

It also directs that agencies involved with health care “encourage the development of a free and open market in interstate commerce” regarding health care. It said the goal is to achieve “maximum options for patients and consumers” but doesn’t lay out any specifics.

These potential outcomes are in-line with what the nation’s governors—both Republican and Democrat—have told House GOP leadership:  the federal government should not be so involved in the minutiae of health insurance public policy.

The New York Times reports:

House Republican leaders recently asked governors for recommendations on health policy, and governors from both parties said the federal government should scale back its regulation of health insurance.

Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee, a Republican, said this month that federal officials should “reconsider the premise that health insurance public policy should be directed from Washington.” He said that federal rules for setting insurance rates and defining “essential health benefits” should be more flexible.

This executive order empowers the executive agencies to affect the change that Trump has in mind; it doesn’t actually do a great deal on its own.

ObamaCare cheerleaders are saying the same thing they’ve said all along . . . excepting when it was ObamaCare disrupting people’s health insurance coverage and restricting access.  Because Obama kicked down the road the most onerous ObamaCare requirements, we have not yet seen (and hopefully will never see) the projected 20 million people who are going to lose their health insurance should the full law go into effect.

The Washington Post reports:

Trump’s action drew swift protests from ACA proponents who have coalesced to try to preserve the law. “While President Trump may have promised a smooth transition” from the current law to a replacement, said Leslie Dach, director of the fledging Protect Our Care Coalition, “the executive order does the opposite, threatening disruption for health providers and patients.”

It’s not yet clear how the various executive agencies will interpret this EO and what (if any) form these changes will take, but it is a very clear signal that things are about to change.


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cue raging Leftard butthurt in 3…2…1…

The left will be butthurt if Trump sneezes. The trouble with being butthurt over every thing is that, after awhile, it ceases to have any value.

Which is why there should be a Flurry of Butthurt.


A gaggle of geese. A murder of crows. And when hysterical libtards gather?

A flurry of butthurt.

    How about a bounty of butthurt?

    Exiliado in reply to Fen. | January 21, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I am definitely stealing that.

    tom swift in reply to Fen. | January 21, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Hmmm. The Quantifier Problem. Flock, gaggle, pride, flight, murder, murmuration, leap, ostentation, smack, unkindness, exaltation … all the good ones—and rather a lot of not-so-good ones—seem taken.

    How about a misery of butthurt?

      Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | January 21, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      But “butt-hurt” is not even a metaphorical “species”. You can have “butt-hurt” on either end of the political divide. And we DO.

      So it fails categorically.

Forgot the point – by “flurry”, I meant Trump should quickly reverse as much of Obama’s EOs as is humanely possible. So fast it makes their heads spin.

Damn autocorrect. Humanly not humanely.

Sorry to hijack the thread but an edit function would make life so much easier here. 21st century ya know.

A bit off topic – I keep seeing pictures comparing the Obama vs Trump crowds. Has anyone seen a picture of the grounds after the Trump events? I vaguely remember the trash left on the ground after the Obama events. It would be interesting to see how much trash is left after the marches today.

    tom swift in reply to Liz. | January 21, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    The protesters will have left quite a bit of wreckage.

    Valerie in reply to Liz. | January 21, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Have you actually seen the pictures? Someone referenced them online without links, so I decided to look for the pictures.

    The first thing I encountered was a TIME article that said it had comparison pictures, and gave numbers.

    There were no comparison pictures. It was pre-written BS, without any support.

    The national park service, which has the best vantage points, stopped giving crowd estimates years ago, because people would fight over them.

“The NY Times reports…”
“The Washington Post reports…”

Who cares?

Of course, neither Obama himself, nor, his fawning audience on the Left, possess the humility, honesty and introspection to admit it, but, Obama’s arrogance, hubris and calculatedly heavy-handed, divisive, contemptuous and imperial governing style alienated much of the electorate and is largely responsible for Trump’s ascendancy.

If Obama had chosen to govern from the center as a pragmatist and if he had made sincere attempts at gaining bi-partisan consensus with respect to Obamacare and other policies; if he had disavowed and condemned Black Lives Matters’ reckless and contemptible promotion of slanderous and false narratives regarding police interactions with blacks; if he had generally attempted to act as a unifying figure in actual deed, as opposed to contradicting his lofty 2004 rhetoric at the DNC and embracing poisonous and divisive identity politics and alleged “victim” narratives at every turn, Hillary would have easily defeated Trump, even with all her obvious flaws and baggage.

Obama’s short-sighted and self-defeating style of governance made Trump possible.

    “Obama’s short-sighted and self-defeating style of governance made Trump possible…”

    True, but so did the GOPe’s short-sighted and self-defeating style of governance.

    But for the Crying Boehners, that lox Jeb!Bush would have lost to now-president Hillary Clinton.

    amwick in reply to guyjones. | January 21, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Mr. Jones, I heard it more than once from the talking heads, Obama’s legacy is Donald Trump. Yup, that’s about it.

The first step of reform is revitalization.

The second step of reform is rehabilitation.

The third step of reform is reconciliation.

A functional (i.e. capitalist, free from monopolies and practices) market will make basic health care affordable and available, and supply insurance for exceptional cases.

“The Washington Post reports, the NYTs reports”

Thanks, but when I want good fiction I flip on Game of Thrones. They even have nudity.

    This one is easy Fen and FineReport (up thread); just don’t read any LI articles that cite WaPo or the NYT. Problem solved.

      That wasn’t meant to be a comment on you, but on the idea that those propaganda rags need to be marginalized.

      Sorry if it came off that way.

        Aw, thanks, FineReport! I’m not a huge fan of either, either . . . that’s why the quotes are so short and (as far as I can tell) devoid of lies. 😉

          It would more interesting – and I think productive – to quote the same info from more respected sources.

          It’s about time we gave alternative media the respect it’s due and the MSM the disrespect and shunning it deserves.

          Agreed, FineReport. However, the more respected sources are typically citing NYT or WaPo; when possible, I do go with the initial AP or Reuters reports, but the NYT and WaPo (among others) do still do original stories that are merely picked up by other sources that we respect. Rather than quoting someone quoting the NYT . . . . Hopefully that will all change in the coming years, though.

If all he’s doing is eliminating the tax penalty for being uninsured, that’s not a good move. It will cause premiums to spike even more as healthy people opt out, accelerating the demise of private health insurance.

Here’s to the Crony Insurance Companies. You salivate over the monies from the masses. The devil whispered such sweet promises. No one ever thought those masses would strike back. Be aware the Trump Thump is coming

Media, both left and right: We know that polls are worthless, but they’re all we’ve got, so we use them. We know that AP, NYT, LAT, MSNBC, etc., are hopelessly biased and comfortable with lying, but they’re all we’ve got, so we use them.


This executive order seems vague to me. It will have to be followed up by specific actions and I suppose Price will drive this sort of thing. Obamacare will have to be dismantled carefully or chaos could result.

It is clear to me, though, that the Little Sisters and anyone else with a moral objection to funding contraception should now be left alone. Will the bureaucrats see it this way?