Executive Order Promotes Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the US

To chip away at healthcare restrictions imposed by Obamacare, President Trump signed an Executive Order Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States. This executive order is aimed at easing PPACA restrictions and reducing the burdens felt by small businesses.

Here are some of the order’s key directives:

Association Health Plans (AHPs) – the order endorses the expansion of AHPs allowing similar small businesses to access this type of program to reduce administrative costs and reduce risk, bringing affordable choices to hourly wage earners, farmers and entrepreneurs. The Department of Labor is instructed to amend current regulation to allow for the expansion.

Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) – the order issues a directive for the expansion of HRAs, including those offered by employers, to allow for greater flexibility and access for individuals to help them finance their healthcare.

Short Term, Limited-Duration Insurance (STLDI) – the order directs the Secretaries of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS), to expand availability of STLDI and to extend coverage periods. It also allows consumers to renew these forms of coverage.

Facilitate the Purchase of Insurance across State Lines – this order states that the administration will facilitate the ability to purchase coverage across State lines and offer high-quality care at affordable prices.
President Trump has indicated that the cost-sharing reduction payments, often referred to as subsidies under Obamacare, will be phased out, but the administration expects that more competition and less restriction will increase competition and reduce the costs of healthcare premiums.

According to the executive order, Obamacare “severely limited the choice of healthcare options available to many Americans and has produced large premium increases in many State individual markets for health insurance. The average exchange premiums in the 39 States that are using www.healthcare.gov in 2017 is more than double the average overall individual market premium record in 2013. The PPACA has also largely failed to provide meaningful choice or competition between insurers, resulting in one-third of America’s counties having only one insurer offering coverage on their applicable government-run exchange in 2017.”

The Trump administration has indicated that the president would continue to use the power of the executive branch to dismantle provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), since the GOP was unable to pass a repeal and replace plan last month.

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