Increasingly frustrated over Congress’ inability or unwillingness to dismantle ObamaCare, President Trump tweeted earlier this week, “Since Congress can’t get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people — FAST”; and now he has.
Of course the president cannot “give” anything to someone that hasn’t been taken from someone else, but other than that, the president is heading in the right direction. Leaks concerning his executive order, which he signed on Thursday, were confirmed: His order points to less government intervention and more individual freedom.
Calling the present Affordable Care Act an “Obamacare Nightmare,” Trump said his alternative is better: “This is promoting health care, choice and competition all across the United States. This is going to be something that millions and millions of people will be signing up for and they’re going to be very happy. This will be great health care.”
Only the free market will be able to create “great health care,” not the government or President Trump with his magic pen. What the government can do is get out of the way and let that free market design, craft, and create health insurance coverages that customers want and are willing to pay for, without government subsidies or threats by the IRS if they don’t. And that’s what Trump’s executive order should allow.
Specifically his executive order is directs agencies in the executive branch to allow lower-cost health insurance plans, currently prohibited by ObamaCare, to be offered. It will allow new lower-priced plans to be offered across state lines, increasing competition. His order would allow individuals with medical reimbursement plans (Health Reimbursement Arrangements) at work the freedom to take some of those funds to purchase those less costly individual health insurance policies. The executive order would allow individuals to form group associations for the purpose of buying health insurance on a group basis, which generally reduces premiums.
One of the more salient improvements will be the ultimate collapse of state exchanges once Trump’s executive order is implemented. Said the Press Office of the White House: “Americans are departing the ObamaCare exchanges and millions are choosing to pay the law’s penalty instead.” The collapse is likely to be hastened further if the president decides to stop paying subsidies to health insurance companies in order to make those expensive ObamaCare offerings less expensive than they really are. This would lead to ObamaCare starvation through defunding.
Trump’s executive order also sets the stage for further expansions of individual freedoms in purchasing healthcare. Individuals might soon be able to provide for their own healthcare coverage if they so desire, without being forced to pay IRS penalties if they decide not to purchase health insurance. Said the president:
Today is only the beginning. In the coming months, we plan to take new measures to provide our people with even more relief and more freedom.
In sum, what Trump’s executive order is likely to do is to