Kaiser Health News, October 12, 2017
Julie Appleby

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The Trump administration Thursday advanced a wide-ranging executive order aimed at expanding lower-cost insurance options, allowing employers to give workers money to buy their own coverage and slowing consolidation in the insurance and hospital industries.

Critics said that if implemented, the changes could result in more bare-bones coverage and pull healthier people out of the already struggling insurance markets, leading to higher premiums for those who remain in more-regulated coverage.

President Donald Trump’s action, which will not take effect in time to affect the upcoming open enrollment for coverage in 2018, signals a shift in the administration’s strategy, which relied on Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Trump is now using the force of his executive rule-making authority to implement long-favored GOP policy alternatives.

“With Congress the way it is, I decided to take it upon myself,” Trump said in remarks at the White House earlier in the week. Senate Republicans failed within recent months to pass legislation to overhaul the ACA. [...]

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