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Saturday, October 21, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump directed government agencies on Friday to freeze regulations and take steps to weaken Obamacare, using his first hours in the White House to make good on a campaign promise to start dismantling his predecessor’s healthcare law.

Heading into the Oval Office shortly after the conclusion of his inaugural parade, Trump signed an order on the Affordable Care Act that urged government departments to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of provisions that imposed fiscal burdens on states, companies or individuals.

It also called for efforts to give states greater flexibility in implementing healthcare programs while developing “a free and open market in interstate commerce for the offering of healthcare services and health insurance.”

Health experts had speculated that Trump could expand exemptions from the so-called individual mandate, which requires Americans to carry insurance or face a penalty, or the requirement that employers offer coverage.

Experts also believe the administration could try to reduce the “essential benefits,” such as maternity care and mental health services, that insurance plans must cover.

The White House did not provide further details about the executive order.

Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer said the White House also directed an immediate regulatory freeze for all government agencies in a memo from Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus. He did not offer details.

Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, one of former President Barack Obama’s signature laws, was a central pledge for Trump during the presidential election campaign. Republicans in the U.S. Congress have not yet laid out a plan to recast the insurance program.

In a hastily arranged ceremony, surrounded by some of his aides, Trump sat behind the presidential Resolute Desk and signed the order. He also signed commissions for his newly confirmed defense secretary, James Mattis, and his homeland security secretary, John Kelly.

Trump spoke briefly about his day with reporters. “It was busy, but good. It was a beautiful day,” he said.

Vice President Mike Pence then swore in Mattis and Kelly in a separate ceremony.

There were other signs of change in the Oval Office, which Obama vacated on Friday morning. Golden drapes hung where crimson ones had earlier in the day and new furniture dotted the room.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler)

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Copyright 2017 The National Memo

12 Responses to In A Hastily Arranged Ceremony, Trump Signs First Order On Obamacare

  1. Of course, he did this on the same day that many of the GOP governors are now asking for expanded Medicaid benefits! Talk about irony.

  2. A “fiscal burden” can be anything that costs money. So the law requiring employers of more than 50 to offer insurance is gone. The law requiring that everyone who can afford it must buy insurance is gone. The Medicaid expansion is gone. Well played, Republicans. donnie has no idea what he signed.

    • Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj222d:
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  3. Donnie is determined to drive down his already low approval ratings even further. And right now we’re just on day 3. Man this is going to be 4 long years of ineptitude by this phony 😒

  4. This will mean skyrocketing premiums for those still able to afford coverage, on top of not getting a break on their mortgage insurance. Trump took dead aim at his supporters and fired.

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