Saturday, January 21, 2017

Trump's first executive disorder: Repeal without replacement.

Captain Chaos is now at the helm.

Ten days ago, the NY Times reported that Trump Tells Congress to Repeal and Replace Health Care Law ‘Very Quickly’.

President-elect Donald J. Trump demanded on Tuesday that Congress immediately repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass another health law quickly. His remarks put Republicans in the nearly impossible position of having only weeks to replace a health law that took nearly two years to pass.

Mr. Trump appeared to be unclear both about the timing of already scheduled votes in Congress and about the difficulty of his demand — a repeal vote “probably some time next week” and a replacement “very quickly or simultaneously, very shortly thereafter.”

So the then President-elect was against “repeal without replacement”. The first thing Trump did as President was very different.

On the evening of his inauguration, the NY Times reported, Trump Issues Executive Order Scaling Back Parts of Obamacare.

In his first executive order, President Trump on Friday directed government agencies to scale back as many aspects of the Affordable Care Act as possible, moving within hours of being sworn in to fulfill his pledge to eviscerate Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

The one-page order, which Mr. Trump signed in a hastily arranged Oval Office ceremony shortly before departing for the inaugural balls, gave no specifics about which aspects of the law it was targeting. But its broad language gave federal agencies wide latitude to change, delay or waive provisions of the law that they deemed overly costly for insurers, drug makers, doctors, patients or states, suggesting that it could have wide-ranging impact, and essentially allowing the dismantling of the law to begin even before Congress moves to repeal it.

And there is no replacement on the horizon.

From the earlier times report: “As it stands, the budget resolution … gives Senate and House committees until Jan. 27 to write legislation that would repeal major provisions of the health care law. But the schedule for action on that legislation, its effective date and the timetable for phasing in a new system of health insurance coverage are all unresolved questions.”

But Congress has one week to get it done.

What is certain, the disorder, the chaos, predicted yesterday by David Brooks has begun. Trump’s insistence on no repeal without replacement was just Trumped by his broad executive order effectively allowing government agencies to ignore the ACA - at their discretion. No consistency there - just opportunities for disorder. That’s the repeal-without-replacement that Trump was against. That was then. The executive order allowing repeal-without-replacement is now.

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