On Day One, Trump Signs Executive Order Impacting the ACA

After his inauguration, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order ordering federal agencies to ease the burden of his predecessor’s landmark healthcare law.

During his campaign, President Donald J. Trump promised that repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be the first order of business, and he kept that promise. After his inauguration, Trump signed an executive order ordering federal agencies to ease the burden of his predecessor’s landmark healthcare law.

The executive order outlined the intent for a “prompt repeal” of the ACA and until the law is repealed, Trump is calling for taking “all actions consistent with law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act.”

The order also called for easing financial and regulatory burdens on states, individuals and families, health insurers, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders through waiving, deferring, granting exemptions, and delaying the implementing of provisions of the ACA. According to the AP, this aspect of the executive order is aimed at the unpopular individual mandate, which requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.

The order directs federal agencies to stop issuing regulations to expand the law, and also directs the secretary of HHS and agencies to “provide greater flexibility to states and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs.”

The AP reported that the effect of this executive order on the ACA could take weeks to fully understand. Uncertainty remains as to what to expect of the impact on not only the individual insurance market, but the coverage status of millions of Americans—especially those of a lower socioeconomic status or with preexisting conditions, who could face a loss of coverage depending on which components of the ACA are eventually disbanded.