President’s Executive Order Provides Broad Directives That Could Weaken ACA
The day after his inauguration, one of Trump’s first official actions as President was to sign an executive order to “minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Affordable Care Act.” Presidents use executive orders to give federal agencies direction on how to enforce laws. In this case, the order instructs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other agencies to use their existing powers to weaken ACA “to the maximum extent permitted by law.”
In essence, the order changes nothing immediately. Most of the provisions in the ACA can’t be changed by the president or HHS; they require action from Congress or a lengthy public comment period. Importantly, the executive order has no impact on coverage for those with preexisting conditions and other provisions outlined in ACA.