More options will trim health insurance costs
President Trump is expected to issue an executive order this week providing at least some relief from skyrocketing health insurance premiums that resulted from the Affordable Care Act.
While the ACA — Obamacare — granted millions of Americans either free insurance through Medicaid or subsidies for “marketplace” policies, it transferred part of the overall burden to millions of people who pay for coverage wholly out of their own pockets. One of Obamacare’s big failings was that it does not permit people to buy health insurance outside their own states.
It was revealed during the weekend that Trump plans to issue an order, perhaps on Thursday, addressing the problem. It would allow some individuals to pool together to buy insurance outside their states.
That should help bring premiums down, at least to an extent, because it would give buyers more options. They would not be limited solely to carriers operating within their states.
Conservatives in Congress continue to work on a comprehensive approach to repealing and replacing Obamacare. As failures during the past few months made clear, getting that done will take time.
While lawmakers are plugging away on that, however, Trump is right to find ways to use executive orders to provide some relief for those who have suffered from Obamacare.
Critics already are charging the order will accomplish little. But it will be some relief for a few people, and the president is right to take the action.
In fact, if he can find other ways to help while Congress works, Trump should issue additional orders.