On the same day as his inauguration, President Donald Trump signed an executive order allowing government agencies to scale back portions of the Affordable Care Act, which provided billions of dollars in assistance to help extend health coverage to millions of Americans. Trump’s administration and its Republican allies in Congress billed this order as a first step in their push to repeal Obamacare, which Trump himself described as “a disaster” on his campaign trail.
ABC News reported that vice president Mike Pence, senior adviser Jared Kushner, and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus were all present when Trump signed the order they hope will repeal the insurance that covers over 20 million people. One of the memorable moments in Barack Obama’s presidency, Obamacare, however, ran Republicans to vow that they’d repeal the act they believe was a burden and damaging to insurers, drug makers and patients.
So, what does this all mean. Is Obamacare officially repealed? No. There was no announcement about what was actually changed by Trump or his administration, but the language used in the order consistently referred to the insurance being an economic burden. The order says that until the ACA is repealed, the executive brand must take actions to “minimize the unwarranted and regulatory burdens of the Act, and prepare to afford the States more flexibility and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.” In addition, it urges for leaders of all federal agencies to prevent any Obamacare that would cause a regulatory or fiscal burden.
But while Trump and his team are so eager to repeal Obamacare, there’s nothing in place that mirrors its inclusiveness, making millions who rely on the insurance for pre-existing conditions scared. The new White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer didn’t even offer details on exactly how this new order would be carried out when questioned by reporters earlier to its signing.
On “This Week,” Pence claimed that patients shouldn’t worry about losing their healthcare, stating, “Any American who has insurance today, through an ‘Obamacare’ exchange or through the Obama plan itself, should have no anxiety about losing their insurance.”