Sick of waiting for Congress to kill Obamacare, President Trump signed an executive order Thursday that will weaken his predecessor’s health care law and could jack up prices for ailing patients.
Calling the order “Obamacare relief” at the signing ceremony, Trump once again lambasted the several Republicans who prevented the Senate from dismantling Obamacare.
Trump has been taking steps to tear down Obamacare year, such as shortening its open enrollment period, cutting its advertising budget and refusing to promise billions of federal dollars owed to insurers under the law, which further destabilized the market.
But the order, which follows Senate Republicans’ multiple failed attempts to pass a replacement plan, is his most devastating blow yet to the Affordable Care Act.
Trump’s order will allow insurers to sell cheaper and simpler health care plans that do not meet the requirements stipulated by the Affordable Care Act. It also lets customers keep short-term plans for longer than the three months capped by Obamacare.
Trump argued that this change will lower costs for millions of citizens by sparing them from rising premiums and adding more choice and competition to the health care market.
But it could also backfire for sicker patients, who are likely to see prices for their plans rise as healthier customers flee to the cheaper plans.