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Old October 12th, 2017, 11:39 AM   #1
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Trump's order reveals how Obamacare functions as a trap for policymakers.

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There is something clever, almost cunning, about Obamacare's policy scheme: It requires unequivocal political support from an administration in order to avoid accusations that the law is being undermined. It is a kind of joint political-policy trap, in which the only solution to the law's failings is to bail it out.

This is evident in the reaction to the executive order on health care President Trump signed today. Trump's order is light on specifics, but it is intended to facilitate the expansion of association health plans, which would let trade groups and small businesses band together to purchase health insurance like large employers. These plans would be exempt from some of Obamacare's rules.

This idea has been floating around Congress for decades. The House passed legislation aimed at expanding association health plans in March of this year, though it was never taken up in the Senate. Over the last several years, it has been championed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who spent months working with Trump on the plan. In addition, the order eases restrictions on short-term health plans, which are exempt from many of Obamacare's mandates.


Trump's order is intended to create less regulated, less expensive alternatives to Obamacare. It is not an attempt to unwind the law so much as to work around it, providing options that do not exist under the current scheme, which has resulted in steady and significant increases in health insurance premiums and limited health insurance choices in many parts of the country. The order is less a direct attack on Obamacare and more of an attempt to escape its failings.

Trump's New Executive Order Makes It Easier to Buy Insurance Outside of Obamacare - Hit & Run : Reason.com


Those darn Presidents and their EOs
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Old October 12th, 2017, 11:43 AM   #2
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Yet the reaction from defenders of Obamacare has been to accuse the president of undermining the health law. By creating a parallel insurance scheme, with less expensive plans that offer less robust coverage, they warn, it will lure healthy people away from Obamacare's insurance markets, and in the process will cause the insurance pool to become smaller and sicker, which inevitably means more expensive. It will exacerbate Obamacare's problems.


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