KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Trump To Sign Executive Order Today To Further Chip Away At Health Law

The order is supposed to ease rules on small businesses banding together to buy health insurance and lift limits on the sale of short-term insurance.

The New York Times: Foiled In Congress, Trump Moves On His Own To Undermine Obamacare
President Trump, after failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act in Congress, will act on his own to relax health care standards on small businesses that band together to buy health insurance and may take steps to allow the sale of other health plans that skirt the health law’s requirements. The president plans to sign an executive order “to promote health care choice and competition” on Thursday at a White House event attended by small-business owners and others. (Pear and Abelson, 10/11)

The Wall Street Journal: In Start To Unwinding The Health Law, Trump To Ease Insurance Rules
President Donald Trump is planning to sign an executive order Thursday to initiate the unwinding of the Affordable Care Act, paving the way for sweeping changes to health-insurance regulations by instructing agencies to allow the sale of less-comprehensive health plans to expand. Mr. Trump, using his authority to accomplish some of what Republicans failed to achieve with their stalled congressional health-care overhaul, will direct federal agencies to take actions aimed at providing lower-cost options and fostering competition in the individual insurance markets, according to a Wall Street Journal interview with two senior White House officials. (Radnofsky, Armour and Wilde Mathews, 10/11)

The Hill: Officials Detail Trump Executive Order On Healthcare Coming Thursday
The order will ease rules on small businesses banding together to buy health insurance, through what are known as association health plans, and lift Obama administration limits on short-term health insurance plans, according to a source on a call with administration officials Wednesday night. The order will direct the Department of Labor to "modernize" rules to allow small employers to create association health plans, the source said. Small businesses will be able to band together if they are within the same state, in the same "line of business," or are in the same trade association. (Sullivan, 10/11)

Politico: Fed Up With Congress, Trump Whacks Obamacare With His Pen
It's not yet clear how far the administration will go, or how quickly it can implement the president's order. But if successful, the new rules could upend the way businesses and individuals buy coverage — lowering premiums for the healthiest Americans at the expense of key consumer protections and potentially tipping the Obamacare markets into a tailspin. "Within a year, this would kill the market," said Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation who previously worked at former President Barack Obama’s HHS Department. (Cancryn, 10/12)

Reuters: Trump Healthcare Order Could Face Strong Legal Objections
U.S. President Donald Trump's expected plan to let Americans buy insurance across state lines could violate federal law governing employee benefit plans and will almost certainly be challenged in court, several legal experts said. Trump said on Tuesday he would likely sign an executive order this week allowing people to cross state lines to obtain "great, competitive healthcare" that would cost the United States "nothing." (Pierson and Raymond, 10/12)

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