January 23, 2017
Matthews: Trump’s Obamacare Executive Order ‘Quick, Decisive’
| Institute for Policy Innovation
DALLAS –President Donald Trump’s executive order directing federal agencies to ease the burden of Obamacare is both quick and decisive in minimizing the law’s many burdens.
“For those who wanted the president to act, you can’t get much broader—or better—than that,” said Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) resident scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews. “In so doing, President Trump has demonstrated to Congress that he is serious about repeal and replace.”
The executive order directs federal agencies with authorities over the Affordable Care Act to “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, facilities, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of health care services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical, devices, products, or medications.”
Trump’s action is similar to what Matthews recommended in November, which called for Trump to:
- Delay the IRS’s ability to penalties for not having coverage, which would essentially allow individuals to buy the type of coverage that met their—not President Obama’s—needs.
- Encourage the incoming secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to use the broad discretion under the law. “If the secretary has power to implement provisions, the secretary has power to ‘unimplement’ those provisions.”
- Give states more flexibility to determine “qualified coverage.”
“Done, done and done,” commented Matthews. “Congress still has to repeal the law, but President Trump has taken an important first step.”