Executive Orders & Health Care Update

What is an executive order?

According to Wikipedia, an executive order has the full force of the law when they take authority from a legislative power, which grants its power directly to the executive by the Constitution or are made under Acts of Congress that explicitly delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power.

In layman’s terms, an executive order is a directive that is given by a president without the involvement of Congress or the Supreme Court. Using an executive order allows the president to make policy that circumvents Congressional control. These directives can only be given to federal agencies, like the Department of Health and Human Services. Executive orders are usually used by presidents when government policy needs to work more quickly than normal legislative channels. The Constitution does not mention executive orders, but they have been used since Pres. Washington. Some feel that executive orders put a strain on the Constitutional checks and balances.  For it is written that Congress makes the laws, the Supreme Court interprets the laws, and the president of the executive branch enforces the laws. Executive orders go against this process, but the Supreme Court can step in and reduce or nullify the law.

Here is a chart showing the annual average number of executive orders by President:

USAToday News Executive Orders

(Image Credit: USANews)

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/20/politics/trump-signs-executive-order-on-obamacare/

The material for this blog today came from a CNN Politics news article on how Pres. Trump could plan to proceed on his campaign promise to roll back Obamacare.

GettyImages-632489942-1024x785On the same day that Pres. Trump was sworn in as president; he took no time to the Oval Office to sign an executive order to seek the prompt appeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This executive order does not change the law of the Affordable Care Act but does set forth the direction on how the president wishes the Congress to move forward. The Sec. of Health and Human Services, as well as other agencies, can waive, defer, grant exceptions from or delay implementation of any provision or requirement of Obamacare that imposes a burden “to the maximum extent permitted by law.”

 

What does this mandate mean to us?

Shortly, it will not change things right away, but it does let Congress know how the President wishes to move forward. The interpretation of this mandate makes it clear that Pres. Trump wants to weaken the Affordable Care Act. Little will be accomplished until the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) is up and running. They will then work on changing the regulations. Tom Price, the President’s choice to head the HHS, will meet with the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday to discuss the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Even though the Republicans are trying to repeal the ACA, it will still need funding.

All of this is going to take time; Pres. Trump does not have the power to nullify the Affordable Care Act. Pres. Trump’s mandate signals to agencies to begin taking steps to reduce regulatory requirements and give more power to the states regarding their health care requirements. There is a lot of work that still needs to be done before the ACA can be changed. It is tough to overhaul a law that is in place. GOP leaders must be careful how they move forward for the uncertainty of what will replace the ACA could cause chaos in the insurance marketplace thus causing many of us to lose our health insurance possibly. For this transition to go smoothly, the” repeal and replace” strategy must happen almost simultaneously. The Republicans are beginning to realize that their campaign rhetoric will not be so easy to accomplish. All of us must remain vigilant in letting our Congress and President know of our needs, and the importance of good and affordable health insurance is to our family’s well-being.

static1.squarespaceLast Saturday, I had the privilege to march with my daughter and granddaughter in the Women March on Washington Rally in Washington, DC. It was a tremendous moment in history for we were able to rally peacefully and let the world know that our opinions matter. Thank you to all the other women that walked with us. One of the topics stressed was the importance of good health insurance for all Americans. I hope that Pres. Trump and the GOP honor their commitment to providing good health insurance for all. Please comment on my blog, your thoughts on this issue.