The New Administration Begins

After the inauguration, followed by powerful demonstrations of concern for what is to come, President Trump and Congress are getting down to business. In health care news:

  • Trump signed a confusing and vaguely-worded Executive Order to federal agencies regarding the Affordable Care Act. The order encourages agencies to dismantle parts of the law even before Congress repeals it. This could signal that the administration is not going to enforce key parts of the law, including consumer protections and the individual mandate. Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway was widely quoted as saying Trump may not enforce the mandate.
  • Senators Collins and Cassidy introduced a new bill to “replace” the ACA – but the bill is not a viable replacement. It would:
    • reduce the number of Americans with health insurance
    • repeal consumer protections protecting people with pre-existing conditions
    • increase deductibles and premiums
    • disrupt the employer-based coverage for all families
    • like Secretary Price’s Empowering Patients First Act, this bill restructures benefits so it is based on age, not income. That means a billionaire could get the same financial help as a low-income family.

See NHeLP’s press statement for more information. The bill is not expected to gain traction with Republicans.

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