On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States. True to his word, on his first day in office he issued an executive order addressing the Affordable Care Act. It may not be, however, all that his supporters expected.
On the foreign policy side, where the President’s authority is very broad, executive orders can address the minutiae of relationships with particular countries. On the domestic side, however, where the president’s power is subject to more constraints, executive orders are used for setting broad policy directions. They cannot be used to change laws or regulations, and are not appropriate for establishing detailed guidance addressing specific issues.
Not surprisingly, therefore, President Trump’s Executive Order sets a broad policy direction with respect to the ACA. After reciting the administration’s commitment to seek the repeal of the ACA, it directs the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies involved in administering the ACA “to the maximum extent permitted by law” to:
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