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President Orders Minimizing The ACA Economic Burden

President Orders Minimizing The ACA Economic Burden

Catrina Reyes, J.D., M.P.A., Policy Analyst and Compliance Manager

On January 20, 2017, the President signed an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to minimize the economic burden of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) pending repeal. In the Executive Order, the President made it clear that he will seek the prompt repeal of the ACA. Repealing the ACA would require legislation from Congress, however, the President’s administration can rewrite regulations on how the ACA is to be implemented.

As such, prior to repeal, the Executive Order directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the heads of all other executive departments with authorities and responsibilities under the ACA to exercise all authority and discretion available to them to:

  • Waive, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any requirement of the ACA that would impose a financial or regulatory burden on States, individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.
  • Provide greater flexibility to States and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs.
  • 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.

The Executive Order does not specify which provisions of the ACA will be affected so it will be some time before the impact of the President’s Executive Order will be known. New or revised regulations take time to be finalized because of the rulemaking process, which requires public notice and an opportunity for interested parties to comment. Hence, for now all ACA requirements remain in effect, including penalties for noncompliance.

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