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Federal agencies directed to waive and defer onerous taxes and penalties
Just hours after being sworn into office on Jan. 20, President Donald Trump issued an executive order directing federal agencies that oversee the Affordable Care Act (ACA) "to exercise all authority and discretion available to them" in order to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" any taxes or penalties imposed by the statute and its implementing regulations that pose "unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens" on health care providers, purchasers, patients and insurers.
Executive Order: Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal
Here is the full text of Trump's executive order directing federal agencies to "ease the burden" of the Affordable Care Act. (Fox News)
How Trump's First Executive Order Could Affect Employer Health Plans
For more information about Donald Trump's workplace policies and how they effect HR professionals, check out the SHRM resources provided below:
President Trump's executive order directing federal agencies that oversee the Affordable Care Act to waive or delay burdensome taxes, penalties and regulations did not specifically mention employers, but the order's broad language would seem to sweep them in as a group that is burdened by the statute and its implementing regulations.(SHRM Online)
Trump's Executive Order Explained by Health Policy Experts
While the order does not unravel the individual mandate or any other part of the ACA, it sets up an unwinding process to change the law's rules over time. It "directs federal agencies to start taking steps to use their administrative authority to unwind the ACA in all sorts of ways," said Larry Levitt, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. "This is a signal that the Trump administration is not waiting for Congress to start making big changes."
What It Won't Do, What It Might Do, and When
Nothing happens yet, nor is it likely to happen until the secretaries of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and probably Labor, as well as the IRS commissioner are in place. Even then, it will take a while for changes to be put into motion. In the long run a great deal may change, but change will only be to the maximum extent permitted by law. (Health Affairs)
Executive Order Could Gut Affordable Care Act's Individual Mandate
Potentially the biggest effect of the order could be widespread waivers from the individual mandate to purchase ACA-compliant health coverage. The order also appears to create room for the Department of Health and Human Services to narrow or gut a set of medical benefits that the ACA compels insurers to include in health plans that they sell to individuals and small businesses.(Washington Post)
A Sweeping Order that Sends a Message
The order changes nothing immediately and doesn't spell out exactly what Trump would like his government to do. But it sends a strong symbolic message to his supporters, while offering some clues to his direction.
[SHRM members-only toolkit:
Communicating with Employees About Health Care Benefits Under the Affordable Care Act]
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