Impact of President Trump’s Executive Order on the ACA
The Order authorizes the HHS and all branches of the federal government NOT to enforce any part of the ACA that has a fiscal impact on individuals, providers, and many businesses in the health care industry. Note that the term “fiscal impact” relates to revenue and taxes. So, this Order gives broad discretion to the HHS and IRS not to enforce any penalties or taxes on employers, individuals, and device manufacturers, among others.
However, since President Trump’s picks for the HHS Secretary, IRS Commissioner, Treasury Secretary, and Chief of the CMS are not yet in place, we don’t expect any significant changes until after they have been confirmed and taken up their positions. That will take some time. In addition, the Order specifically directs them to follow proper protocol with respect to changing or issuing regulations, so that process likely adds more delay to any changes.
- The Order gives broad authority to gut enforcement of the ACA. But, it is unlikely to directly impact employers and individuals for several weeks, if not months. Watch for confirmation of heads of the HHS, Treasury, IRS, and CMS as a sign that changes will begin.
The full text of the Order isn’t yet posted on the White House website. But, it can be found here: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=122251 Section 2 of the Order specifically addresses the ACA fiscal impact.