Just hours after Donald Trump to the oath of office of President, he signed an executive order which directs federal agencies to use their authority to relieve individuals, businesses, state governments, and others from the economic burdens of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
Section 1 of the executive order reads as follows:
It is the policy of my Administration to seek the prompt repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), as amended (the “Act”). In the meantime, pending such repeal, it is imperative for the executive branch to ensure that the law is being efficiently implemented, take all actions consistent with law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act, and prepare to afford the States more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.
Like other promises so far that he made during the campaign, which he said he would begin working on in his first 100 days, President Trump seems to be seeking to keep his promise to deal with the unconstitutional burden that is Obamacare.
While the EO does not repeal the legislation, it does order those in the federal government to do all they can to “to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act.”
Some say that Trump cannot simply choose to not enforce it, but since he took an oath to uphold the Constitution, does he then not have a right to deem Obamacare as unconstitutional and challenge that law? I would think he does, and he could do it on constitutional grounds.
Judge Andrew Napolitano spoke out on Trump’s executive order and called it “truly revolutionary.”
Fox News’ Bill Hemmer asked whether the executive order means “do not enforce the law.”
Napolitano explained that Trump was simply ordering federal agencies to “dial back the severity of the enforcement and [not] to punish a person or a state for what you think is their non-compliance because it might not be non-compliance in a couple of months.”
Napolitano said he has never seen a president say, “you will exercise your judgment against the government and in favor of the individual. That is truly revolutionary and is exactly what [Trump] promised he would do.”
In other words, Trump is expecting federal agencies to act with the expectation that the unconstitutional legislation will be repealed very soon, especially the tax penalties.
This is great news for those of us about to file taxes. Hopefully, we can see it retroactive to give us back our money that should never have been taken in the first place.
However, just before Napolitano was interviewed, Hemmer interviewed Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who is introducing a replacement Obamacare plan called The Patient Freedom Act of 2017. This legislation plan is geared towards health savings accounts, funded by tax credits, that individuals would be able to use for health care costs. While that’s fine and dandy, to force people into that is unconstitutional as well. What else are GOP leaders wanting to put in a replacement of Obamacare? Let the people see it and read it and demand that our representatives read it as well.
Keep an eye on replacement. The GOP has been known to advance a bit of the welfare state too. Remember the prescription drug bill under George W. Bush?
The states should have taken the proper means and simply nullified the unconstitutional legislation once it was passed.