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President Signs Executive Order Seeking to Change Key Pieces of the ACA

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Oct. 12 directing federal agencies to pursue sweeping regulatory changes to the healthcare system, the administration’s first move in what it promises will be an extended campaign to weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without Congress.

The directive won’t make immediate changes to the healthcare system. Instead, it issues a broad directive to the departments of labor, treasury and health and human services to explore regulatory options that would expand access to healthcare plans that fall outside the purview of the ACA and its regulations.

The order directs agencies to ease rules that allow small businesses, and possibly individuals, to band together in arrangements called “association health plans,” letting them buy cheaper, less-comprehensive plans outside the ACA market. It also eases the pathway for the sale of short-term insurance policies, which the Obama administration restricted. Additionally, it will permit employers to deposit money into special accounts that their workers can use to purchase their own insurance plans.

Critics say these new options would drain the ACA market of younger, healthier customers, sending costs soaring for older and sicker people who remain in the regulated market.

No immediate changes take place by the issuance of this executive order, but it will put the regulatory gears in motion. It is likely several agencies will issue new regulations in the weeks and months to come. The DTA will continue to monitor the roll-out and respond as necessary.

Click here to see President Trump’s Executive Order.

By Patrick Cooney, The Federal Group, Inc.
Legislative Representative, Dental Trade Alliance