As a result of Trump’s executive order last week, Obamacare could be left hanging in the balance. Here’s what we know so far about the order itself and any of its likely consequences:
- Trump’s executive order targets small businesses and individual insurance plans: Trump’s order is two-fold. Firstly, it allows small business owners to ban together to form “associations” so they can purchase healthcare plans for their collective employees with fewer regulations. Secondly, the administration’s plan also makes it easier and cheaper for individuals to purchase short-term healthcare insurance, according to a report from NBC News.
- It won’t go into effect anytime soon: Healthcare carriers have already set the premiums for 2018, so the short-term effects on the public are minimal. Meanwhile, Trump has also directed federal agencies to review the goals outlined in the plan and “decide over time whether the new regulations might be possible,” according to NBC News. Experts say even if the rules never go into effect, the order still has the power to undermine Obamacare.
- The plan has the potential to destabilize the market: Under Trump’s plan, younger, healthier individuals will see cheaper insurance rates, while their older, more medically-complex counterparts will likely experience a significant rate increase. The order’s vague language could also cause confusion and disrupt the market. With few incentives to remain in the Obamacare exchange, experts say that many carriers could leave the market altogether, leaving people with little to no healthcare coverage in some states.
- The healthcare industry isn’t happy: Not surprisingly, most healthcare professionals in the industry have reacted strongly against the measure. The American Hospitals Association stated in a press release, “These provisions could destabilize the individual and small group markets, leaving millions of Americans who need comprehensive coverage to manage chronic and other pre-existing conditions, as well as protection against unforeseen illness and injury, without affordable options.” Likewise, the American Nurse Association denounced the plan, calling it, “an all-out assault on the consumer protections gained under the Affordable Care Act, creating sub-par health care for some and higher costs for others.”
What do you think of Trump’s executive order?