President Trump issues executive order scaling back parts of Obamacare

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President Donald Trump on Friday issued an order to government agencies to scale back as many aspects of Obamacare as possible, moving within hours of being sworn in to fulfill his pledge to eviscerate Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

The one-page order, which Trump signed in a hastily arranged Oval Office ceremony shortly before departing for the inaugural balls, gave no specifics about which aspects of the law he wanted to target. But its broad language gave federal agencies wide latitude to change, delay or waive provisions of the law that they deemed overly costly for insurers, drugmakers, doctors, states or patients, suggesting that it could have wide-ranging impact, essentially allowing the dismantling of the law to begin even before Congress moves to repeal it.

The order states what Trump made clear during his campaign: that it would be his administration’s policy to seek the “prompt repeal” of the health insurance law, known as Obamacare. But he and Republicans on Capitol Hill have not yet devised a replacement, making such action unlikely in the immediate term.

“In the meantime,” the order said, “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 health care market.”

It also orders agencies to encourage the creation of a system that allows the sale of health insurance across state lines, which Republicans have long proposed as the centerpiece of an alternative to Obamacare.

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