Politico, January 10, 2018
Jennifer Haberkorn

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Early last year, as an Obamacare repeal bill was flailing in the House, top Trump administration officials showed select House conservatives a secret road map of how they planned to gut the health care law using executive authority.

The March 23 document, which had not been public until now, reveals that while the effort to scrap Obamacare often looked chaotic, top officials had actually developed an elaborate plan to undermine the law — regardless of whether Congress repealed it.

Top administration officials had always said they would eradicate the law through both legislative and executive actions, but they never provided the public with anything close to the detailed blueprint shared with the members of the House Freedom Caucus, whose confidence — and votes — President Donald Trump was trying to win at the time. The blueprint, built off the executive order to minimize Obamacare’s “economic burden,” which Trump signed just hours after taking the oath of office, shows just how advanced the administration’s plans to unwind the law were — plans that would become far more important after the legislative efforts to repeal Obamacare failed.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) obtained the one-page document from the Trump administration last month after blocking three of the administration’s health nominees to get it. Casey, who shared it with POLITICO, called it a list of options for “sabotage.”

“The primary problem here is government officials, government agencies, were taking steps that would lead to fewer people having coverage and erecting barriers to people having coverage,” he said. “In addition to that, you have kind of a closed-door, back-room slimy deal here that should trouble anyone.”

The document lists 10 executive actions the Trump administration planned to take to “improve the individual and small group markets most harmed by Obamacare.” [...]