Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump promised to repeal Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, if he was elected. He wasted no time in taking the first step towards delivering on his promise. On his first day in office, President Trump signed his first executive order; Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Act Pending Repeal. Though vague, this order minimizes the economic burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of devices, products, or medications. So what does this mean? Do those that have Obamacare for 2017 lose their coverage? Are individuals still required to have health insurance or pay a fine? Does this completely repeal Obamacare making it obsolete? The short answer, no.
If you elected coverage through the Exchange for 2017 you will have coverage through the year. This executive order did not change affordable access to coverage.
Many of you may think that this means you aren’t required to have insurance or pay the uninsured tax. Wrong. The law still stands that you must have health coverage or face a fine. Depending on your income this could be substantial.
This executive order did not dismantle Obamacare. This repeal must come from Congress since Obamacare is law. It can’t come from the President’s desk. However, this is a significant first step, since Republicans control both houses of Congress it looks like a change is imminent.
Will Obamacare be completely repealed? All signs right now point to no. Congressman Yoder has stated that meetings are happening to develop a plan to fix what is wrong with Obamacare, not to repeal it. No one can deny that our healthcare system is still broken. Obamacare did not fix it but that doesn’t mean that some good things didn’t come from this law, such as not being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions and no lifetime maximums on coverage. However, we still have 20 million Americans that do not have access to affordable coverage. Also, the burden on employers, especially small business, has been tremendous. So much so that many have closed their doors.
Congress has a lot of work ahead of them. Though it may take some time and they may stumble at times, I’m hopeful that they will be able to fix what is wrong with healthcare and keep the good things that Obamacare brought to the table.