President Donald Trump has signed an executive order directing an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), his biggest step toward implementing a repeal of Obamacare amid Congress’ failure to rework the U.S. healthcare system legislatively.
The order encourages the rise of less expensive and less regulated health insurance plans that will not need to comply with ACA consumer protections and benefit rules. If successful, the new rules could change the way businesses and individuals purchase coverage. It would lower premiums for the healthiest Americans at the expense of key consumer protections and potentially alter Obamacare markets.
In his executive order, the president directs the relevant federal agencies to craft the outlined changes through regulations, which are subject to the normal approval process. This means they would most likely go into effect for the 2019 insurance year at the earliest.
In an announcement about the executive order, Trump also said he is preparing to roll back Obama-era restrictions on short-term health insurance plans, which could allow insurers to sell stopgap policies which don’t cover pre-existing conditions and mental health services. Coverage could extend for as long as a year. Currently, there’s a three-month limit on such coverages.
For more on the executive order, read here.