What President Trump’s Health Care Executive Order Means For Women
President Donald Trump opened the day on Thursday, October 12, by signing an executive order on health care, and closed the day by revealing a second key piece to his plan on health insurance.
After Congress failed repeated attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (also not-so-affectionately known as Obamacare), the Commander in Chief decided it was time he stomp in — er — step in.
"I just keep hearing repeal-replace, repeal-replace," Trump explained while signing the executive order. "Well, we're starting that process." (Nevermind that Trump himself is often the one repeating that phrase.)
The Executive Order
Essentially, the executive order, intended to increase health care options, will remove certain requirements of Obamacare in order to allow health care providers to offer more short-term and skimpier plans, attractive to healthier citizens. The President also announced the federal government will halt making scheduled payments to insurance companies intended to lower deductibles for low-income citizens.
Trump boasted that this new plan will benefit "millions and millions" of people and it will "cost the United States government virtually nothing." Let's not forget that citizens fund the government with taxes, so this sentiment essentially means that rather than going toward health care, your U.S. tax dollars will be spent elsewhere.
The bulk of Obamacare is still in effect, including subsidies to help middle-income citizens purchase health insurance and the Medicaid expansion to help more poor adults.
The Pros And Cons
Supporters of the changes, including Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, say these changes will "empower the consumer" and make it easier for individuals and small businesses to obtain coverage comparable to that offered to employees of large corporations. That would be a good thing, as those plans can be pretty comprehensive.
Critics, including New York Senator Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, argue that the order will make the Obamacare-compliant plans less attractive to healthier citizens by offering cheaper — but less complete — coverage, while the less healthy citizens will see higher premiums. So, as healthier people who presume themselves to require flimsier coverage leave the Obamacare plans, less healthy people who really depend on their coverage will have to cover that deficit and thus will pay more for coverage. The American Cancer Society and the American Hospital Association have also both spoken out against the health care overhaul.
Sadly, instead of working to lower health costs for Americans, it seems @POTUS will singlehandedly hike Americans' health premiums.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) October 13, 2017
How Does This Affect Women?
While these hits are not directly targeting women (for once), this further unraveling of Obamacare is forecasted to affect anyone with health care in the U.S., or roughly 88.7 percent of U.S. adults, by pushing Obamacare to self-implode.
The more immediate effects of these changes are predicted to be felt by the most vulnerable citizens — the sick and the poor — for the reasons detailed above. Ultimately, experts predict everyone could see negative effects on their health care plans and costs, because without the government subsidies, insurance agencies will need to make up that cost somewhere.
Fortunately, because of the timeline of the process, the order is not predicted to begin affecting insurance coverage until 2019, giving our government leaders (a very small amount of) time to come up with an alternate solution.
So, if you care, call your representatives.