Day1: Trump scales back Obamacare

Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Robert Pear

Day1: Trump scales back Obamacare

In his first executive order, President Donald Trump on Friday directed government agencies to scale back as many aspects of the Affordable Care Act as possible, moving within hours of being sworn in to fulfill his pledge to eviscerate Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.

The one-page order, which Trump signed in a hastily arranged Oval Office ceremony shortly before departing for the inaugural balls, gave no specifics about which aspects of the law it was targeting. But its broad language gave federal agencies wide latitude to change, delay or waive provisions of the law that they deemed overly costly for insurers, drugmakers, doctors, patients or states, suggesting that it could have a wide-ranging impact, essentially allowing the dismantling of the law to begin even before the Congress moves to repeal it.

The order states what Trump made clear during his campaign: that it would be his administration’s policy to seek the “prompt repeal” of the health insurance law, known as Obamacare. But he and Republicans on Capitol Hill have not yet devised a replacement, making such action unlikely in the immediate term.

“In the meantime,” the order said, “pending such repeal, it is imperative for the executive branch to ensure that the law is being efficiently implemented, take all actions consistent with the law to minimise the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the act, and prepare to afford the states more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market”.

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