October 12, 2017/APhA
President Trump is expected to sign on Thursday an executive order that would initiate the unwinding of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With the order, the president will direct federal agencies to take actions aimed at providing less expensive options and fostering competition in the individual insurance markets. According to two senior White House officials, the specific steps in the order will represent just the first moves in his White House’s effort to strike parts of the ACA. By increasing alternative insurance arrangements that would be exempt from some key ACA rules, the change would provide more choices for consumers. Health insurance experts note, however, that it could increase costs for sicker individuals by drawing together healthier, younger consumers to the alternative plans, which could be cheaper and provider fewer benefits. The executive order will seek to increase access to plans that allow small businesses and possibly individuals band together to purchase insurance. In addition, it will life limits on the sale of short-term insurance and will expand the ways in which workers use employer-funded accounts to purchase their own insurance policies. White House officials also noted Wednesday that the order would call on agencies to study and issue a report on federal and state policies that could contribute to increasing health costs, including, potentially, the effect of health care provider consolidation.
Wall Street Journal (10/11/17) By: Radnofsky, Louise; Armour, Stephanie; Mathews, Anna Wilde