Powerline: With the Democrats in control of the House, nothing useful will come out of Congress in the next two years. That means that progress in domestic policy will have to come via regulation and executive action. Happily, the Trump administration is very strong on this front.
An underreported story is the administration’s regulatory reform of Obamacare. Here, the administration is implementing ideas that were developed in think tanks like my organization, Center of the American Experiment. In late October, the administration issued a guidance on Obamacare waivers and a proposed regulation that would expand insurance options available to employers and their employees. Together, these actions go a long way toward undercutting the one-size-fits-all regime that the Democrats imposed via the Affordable Care Act.
The administration’s initiatives haven’t been widely reported, but word is starting to get around. The Washington Post gets the point, and is not pleased: “New insurance guidelines would undermine rules of the Affordable Care Act.”
The Trump administration is urging states to tear down pillars of the Affordable Care Act, demolishing a basic rule that federal insurance subsidies can be used only by people buying health plans in marketplaces created under the law.
According to advice issued Thursday by federal health officials, states should be free to redefine the use of those subsidies, which began in 2014. …
States could allow the subsidies to be used for health plans the administration has been promoting outside the ACA marketplaces that are less expensive because they provide skimpier benefits and fewer consumer protections.
Obamacare made it illegal to buy cheap insurance by mandating a lavish suite of coverages, many of which are unnecessary for most consumers, and its proponents pretended to be surprised when insurance rates went up. Health insurance policies that “provide skimpier benefits and fewer consumer protections” at a lower cost are exactly what most consumers want. read more