Trump Calls for 'Prompt Repeal' of ACA in First Executive Order

Just hours after taking the oath of office, President Donald J. Trump has already signed an executive order calling for the prompt repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Just hours after taking the oath of office, President Donald J. Trump has already signed an executive order calling for the prompt repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

 

The executive order, which was labeled "Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal," noted that until the ACA was repealed that it would be implemented efficiently, with an emphasis on allowing States the ability to create free and open health care markets.

 

The order stressed that the heads of all executive departments and agencies, including the Secretary of Health and Human Services, should attempt to bypass any portions of the law that would result in fiscal burdens to States and multiple other stakeholders, including health care providers, families, and individuals. Along with promoting every effort to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, and delay the implementation of the law, the executive order also advised the department heads to be "flexible" with States on the implementation of health care programs, to the maximum extent possible within the confines of the law.

 

In an effort to build a replacement for the ACA, the order advised all heads of departments and agencies involved in health care or health insurance to begin taking part in the development of a new free and open market. This new market was described as allowing "interstate commerce for the offering of health care services and health insurance, with the goal of achieving and preserving maximum options for patients and consumers."

 

Overall, the one-page document contained just 5 sections. In the final sections of the order, the President noted that each head of an agency should comply with the Administrative Procedure Act, which was enacted in 1946. Under this act, the agency heads must comply with the order, as part of a system for establishing regulations within the federal government. Moreover, the executive order noted that the document should be carried out within a manner that was consistent with current laws.

 

The executive order was signed just one week following the passing of a budget resolution in Congress that would defund the ACA. The resolution was passed as a “budget reconciliation,” to avoid filibuster. The Senate passed to budget change in a vote of 51-48 and the House voted 227-198.