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The Complete Payroll Blog

Trump's first executive order targets Affordable Care Act repeal

Posted by Complete Payroll | Jan 25, 2017 2:16:30 PM

Hours after taking office, President Trump signed his first executive order - expressing his intent to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The executive order

In addition to stating the President's intent to repeal the law, the executive order also, pending repeal, directs agency and department heads to exercise their authority and discretion to minimize the ACA's impact.

The executive order does not repeal the Affordable Care Act. But it strongly suggests President Trump intends to deliver on his frequent campaign promises to undo the law.

Directions to department and agency heads

In the meantime, the executive order directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services and other department and agency heads to at their discretion "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications."

What's affected?

Trump wasn't clear on which parts of the program would be affected by his executive order. However, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, said on ABC's "This Week" that President Trump "may stop enforcing the individual mandate."

The individual mandate

Experts in the healthcare community have been speculating that the Trump Administration could do this by expanding the exemptions to the mandate, according to Reuters. While the Trump Administration can't simply repeal the individual mandate - which is law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama - they could make the regulatory exemptions from it so broad that the mandate (which is a crucial component of the ACA) is weakened or even completely ineffective.

The most common ACA terms and what they actually mean

The employer mandate

President Trump could also choose to delay or not enforce the employer mandate. Or, he could change or simply not enforce requirements that insurers cover a basic set of health benefits in all of their plans - from materniry and newborn care to mental health services.

What's next?

President Trump also issued an executive order that imposes a hiring freeze across the federal government (including the IRS). Excluded only were military, national security or public safety personnel.

Overall, it doesn't seem like the incoming administration will make enforcing the Affordable Care Act and/or its reporting requirements a priority. That being said, no concrete changes are official. We'll continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as they come.

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Topics: Affordable Care Act

Written by Complete Payroll

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