President Trump says health care order will help millions

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WASHINGTON (AP) Developments on Thursday, Oct. 12, about President Donald Trump’s executive order on health care (all times Eastern Daylight Time).

  • 12:00 p.m.

President Trump stated “millions and millions of people” would benefit from his action to unwind the health care law.

Part of the executive order he signed aims to make lower-premium plans more widely available.

But the changes Trump hopes to bring about could take months or even longer. That’s according to administration officials who outlined the order for reporters. The proposals may not be finalized in time to affect coverage for 2019, let alone 2018 as indicated.

The administration’s domestic policy director Andrew Bremberg said Trump still believes Congress needs to repeal and replace the Obama-era Affordable Care Act and described the order as first steps.

Trump signed the order in the Roosevelt Room at the White House surrounded by Vice President Mike Pence, members of his Cabinet, and members of Congress.

  • 11:55 a.m.

The president said the order would provide what he called “Obamacare relief” for millions of Americans.

Trump wants to rely on the executive order because the Republican-controlled Congress has been unable to pass a plan to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Trump said the health care system “will get better” with his action, and the action would cost the federal government nothing.

He said the order would give people more competition, more choices, and lower premiums.

  • 3:38 a.m.

President Trump has made no secret of his frustration with the failure of Congress to get rid of “Obamacare” and replace it with a new plan.

The president’s executive order will let groups and associations sponsor coverage that can be marketed across the country, reflecting Trump’s longstanding belief that interstate competition would lead to lower premiums, officials said.

The president’s move was likely to encounter opposition from medical associations, consumer groups, and even insurers — the same coalition that has blocked congressional Republicans. Critics say it would raise costs for the sick, while the lower-premium coverage for healthy people would come with significant gaps.

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