Obamacare was dealt its first death blow with President Trump’s first executive order. Immediately after the inauguration and before the celebratory balls, Trump took the first step to making his campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare a reality by signing an executive order to handicap the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. The President cannot change the law, so it will take time for Congress to work with him to fully repeal and replace Obamacare with a more practical plan.
The executive order changes the interpretation of the law so that government agencies can “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay implementation of any provision or requirement.” This means that the agencies can loosely interpret the law and reduce regulatory requirements. For example, they might choose to broaden the criteria to meet hardship exemptions, so fewer people will pay penalties. It might also remove the market restrictions within states.
The New York Times reports that the executive order will also make the marketplace friendlier to insurers that have been unwilling to remain in the public marketplace due to restrictions. Many insurers have dropped out of the markets, which left consumers with fewer options when purchasing insurance. Forbes reported that the executive order also allows states to grant permission for insurers to offer consumer policies that do not meet the old ACA requirements.