As I read about Trumps recent executive order aimed at Obamacare I thought how unique it was to have a politician get into office and actually do the things they promised. Then I realized that Trump isn’t a politician. So their record of broken promises remains intact, he isn’t one of them.
The order Trump signed does not increase the power of the presidency either. Unlike some of the orders given by Obama that did violate federal law, Trump’s order specifies that all actions are to be taken as allowed by law and within the confines of the law.
The full text of the order is below if you are interested. Sections 2 and 4 are the ones that interest me. That and of course the title which includes the words, “pending repeal”. That’s music to my ears.
Obamacare has been a disaster all around.
From the start the law has been a mess. It’s not exaggerating to say that every phase of it’s implementation was filled with problems. The law itself failed to live up to its promises and it was finally admitted that the “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” mantra was always a lie. Intentionally told.
Aside from that the law forced people to buy a product they didn’t want and forced doctors to offer services they didn’t want to offer. The law failed to recognize that health care isn’t a right, it’s a service and as such is the product of someone’s labor. Costs went up, exchanges failed, insurers pulled out, and the Democrats hailed it as a success.
Obama gave 1100 waivers to companies that were friends of the administration. Friends here is a euphemism for donors. We often hear the term “crony capitalism” thrown about but really it’s not capitalism at all, it’s socialism. Taking from one, giving to another, exempting some and not others. Those are the true hallmarks of a socialist philosophy.
Rather than give a few waivers to a few cherry picked and friendly donors Trump’s order directs the Department of Health and Human Services to find a way, where possible, to give a waiver, exemption, whatever is helpful, to anyone and everyone who needs it. That need is not well defined in the law. It’s written that way on purpose and that’s how Obama could get away with picking and choosing who to give a waiver to. Well, that loose language is now being used by Trump to pretty much eviscerate the law.
One of the reasons healthcare was costly before Obamacare (it’s more costly now with it) is that the government interfered with the market. If you live in California you cannot shop for healthcare plans out of Florida. Section two of the order seeks to remedy that. It directs anyone with authority over healthcare in the administration to find a way to open up interstate commerce for healthcare coverage. This would allow individuals much greater purchasing power and more options. When a person can shop around, and when people from all over the country can form health insurance purchasing co-ops their buying power increases.
Business and government agencies have long purchased more affordable healthcare for their employees because they buy in bulk. If you’re an individual, you haven’t had that option. But if this order becomes reality you would be able to get with other individuals and buy in bulk getting the same lower prices and better coverage as a large business or municipality does.
This Automatically Creates the Replacement
One of the frustrating things for me when it comes to discussions on repealing Obamacare is that every such discussion is amended with a call to replace it. “Repeal and replace” is said over and over. While alliteratively pleasing it is nevertheless frustrating. To replace it assumes still that government control and intervention in healthcare is the solution. I contend that it isn’t even needed so far is it from being the solution!
By creating an interstate commerce in healthcare the replacement is automatic; that replacement is the free market. The more businesses that are allowed to compete the better the choice and cost will be for individuals and families not to mention small businesses.
Hope and Fear
Obama ran on hope and created only fear. Both of these are powerful motivators. Trump is something new. He’s a man of action, a doer. Washington always talks about “getting things done” but what they get done always turns out so poorly that we wish they would do nothing at all. I’m still a platypus that likes government to be inactive but if they are going to be active I want things that are just and promote liberty. Because this order is in keeping with presidential power, directs that all action be within the law, and seeks to get rid of the fetter of Obamacare while opening up healthcare to the free market I can only conclude that Trump has done right by the American people. We have a long row to hoe but he’s started out with a decisive stroke which could lead to victory over a bad piece of oppressive legislation.
Full text of the order
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release January 20, 2017
– – – – – – –
MINIMIZING THE ECONOMIC BURDEN OF THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT PENDING REPEAL
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. It is the policy of my Administration to seek the prompt repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), as amended (the “Act”). In the meantime, pending such repeal, it is imperative for the executive branch to ensure that the law is being efficiently implemented, take all actions consistent with law to minimize 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.
Sec. 2. To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) and the heads of all other executive departments and agencies (agencies) with authorities and responsibilities under the Act shall exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.
Sec. 3. To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Secretary and the heads of all other executive departments and agencies with authorities and responsibilities under the Act, shall exercise all authority and discretion available to them to provide greater flexibility to States and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs.
Sec. 4. To the maximum extent permitted by law, the head of each department or agency with responsibilities relating to healthcare or health insurance shall encourage the development of a free and open market in interstate commerce for the offering of healthcare services and health insurance, with the goal of achieving and preserving maximum options for patients and consumers.
Sec. 5. To the extent that carrying out the directives in this order would require revision of regulations issued through notice-and-comment rulemaking, the heads of agencies shall comply with the Administrative Procedure Act and other
applicable statutes in considering or promulgating such regulatory revisions.
Sec. 6. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 20, 2017.
The one-page order, which the newly inaugurated president signed in a hastily arranged Oval Office ceremony, did not specify which aspects of the health care law it was targeting.