In the weeks after Donald Trump’s stunning election, he rapidly began selecting cabinet appointees and made numerous headlines for negotiations with businesses to keep jobs in the United States — a flurry of activity before he even took office that bode well for his ambition once officially becoming president. And sure enough, now that he’s been sworn in, our 45th president has hit the ground running.
The multi-part executive order stated that the administration’s official policy is “to seek the prompt repeal” of the Affordable Care Act — but at the same time emphasized that his administration must continue to uphold the law […]
The also directs the secretary of health and human services and the heads of other agencies to use their discretion to help individuals, healthcare providers, insurers and others avoid any burdens stemming from the Affordable Care Act.
“He has been told that he needs to comply with the law,” said Timothy Jost, an emeritus professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law, “but is directing the agencies to begin taking steps towards reducing regulatory requirements and giving more discretion to the states.”
The order also looks to give states more flexibility and control over their health care markets, in keeping with longstanding Republican beliefs.
White House Chief of Staff (and former RNC Chair) Reince Priebus also issued a memo to all government agencies calling for a temporary freeze on implementing new regulations, a routine move for new presidents which will enable Trump’s team to review them before deciding on how to move forward.
This executive order doesn’t repeal Obamacare, of course — unlike leftists, conservatives generally understand that presidents can’t unilaterally dictate policy. Full repeal and replacement of Obamacare relies on Congress, and is expected to be one of their first orders of business in the coming weeks. Trump himself recently said the details of his own replacement proposal are forthcoming, while Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has announced he will unveil his own free-market healthcare reform legislation next week.
Republicans now have everything they need to free Americans from the (Un)Affordable Care Act once and for all, and there’s no excuse not to finally do it. Now’s the time to be excited and optimistic, but also to be vigilant and ensure that Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and the rest of the GOP majority keep their promise.