During Donald J. Trump’s election campaign, he promised to give Americans a better health reform that will be beneficial for everybody. He promised to make health insurance plans less costly without raising taxes, by using money that is already in the system. So it should not come as a surprise to anyone that he signed an EO to urge his administration to dismantle the Affordable Care Act as soon as possible.
But the order by itself will not allow Mr. Trump to completely abolish Obamacare. Keep in mind that any major changes to the health law will need new legislation. Therefore, the EO should be perceived more as a mission statement instead of a mandate that can immediately change the law.
The President and Republican leaders are discussing a feasible replacement for the current health law. He promised the public that his team will create a health care reform that is significantly better than the ACA and would pave the way for insuring more citizens and lowering their health care costs.
In the meantime, here are a few possibilities of what could happen to the ACA in the upcoming few months:
- The coverage mandate of the ACA will continue to be in effect.
Despite President Trump’s EO which calls for federal agencies to do everything they can 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 businesses and individuals, without approval from the Congress, he does not have the authority to eliminate those requirements.
- There will be limited changes to the 2017 insurance coverage, if any at all. Individual Exchange Plans have already been approved by the state regulators for the entire year of 2017. Therefore, even if the health law does get repealed, changes in the pricing and benefits of health plans will require approval by the state regulators by the year 2018.
- Costs will increase immediately.
Although provisions are not likely to change in 2017, insurance premiums may rise especially for those who rely on subsidies to lower their insurance costs.
- Premiums and coverage will probably change in 2018.
If the ACA gets abolished, it could cause a shift in benefit structures. The current plans may also be canceled and the benefits you enjoy now may no longer be available next year.