There’s much confusion about what the President’s executive order about the Affordable Care Act, issued on January 20, 2017, really means in substantive terms. While it’s been clear for some time that the Republican party’s stance is full repeal, that’s beyond the scope of an executive order. Think of this order more as a statement of intent, and it makes more sense.
This section spells out the intent of the government to repeal the ACA legislation, as well as stating the government recognizes the ACA is currently law. They must, in the meantime, uphold the current conditions.
Here, the order directs all agencies and offices — primarily the Internal Revenue Service and the Secretary of Health and Human Services — to exempt as many people as possible from the need to comply with terms of the ACA. Many experts believe this is meant to direct the IRS to find and advance loopholes in tax law resulting from the ACA. It’s important to note this is speculation. At time of publication, no specifics are implemented.
This section seems to encourage state-level development of healthcare solutions ahead of the eventual repeal of the ACA. In essence, this section directs government agencies and offices to support more healthcare activity by the states themselves.
This section seems to encourage a free and open market for health insurance between states. While it does not get specific, it offers a goal of delivering maximum options to healthcare consumers.
This Executive Order Does Not:
- End any program or initiative currently in place. Those who use the ACA and its provisions to acquire health insurance have not had any options closed off.
- Take away existing health care coverage. The order does not seem to cancel any current provision. In fact, it recognizes that ACA remains, for the time, the law of the land.
- Issue a free pass for taxpayers to avoid ACA provisions and obligations. While it does seem that the IRA is encouraged to enhance loopholes, the order doesn’t transfer exemptions onto individuals.