[JURIST] US President Donald Trump [official website] on Friday, only hours after being sworn in, signed an executive order [text] aimed at repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The order commands government agencies to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from or delay implementation of any provision or requirement" to avoid costs to individuals, insurers, health care providers and others. Trump vowed to repeal the ACA in his campaign, and although much of it is in regulation thereby preventing an expeditious repeal, Trump's first executive order is seen as a clear message that repeal is coming. Trump's order also made clear that his administration favors a policy of state control by giving more discretion to the states in regulating insurance. Until such time as the ACA is repealed, however, the order urged that
in the mean time ... 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 health care market.The Senate took the first step toward repealing the ACA earlier in January, when it voted 51-48 [JURIST report] to prevent the process from being subject to a filibuster.
Trump assumed the presidency [LAT report] on Friday with an inaugural address [video] aimed at nationalism and what he called "America First." On the same day, prior to Trump taking office, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act for "records pertaining to financial and other ethical conflicts of interest in connection with the presidential transition of President-Elect Donald J. Trump." The ACLU was active before the election opposing Trump's proposed repeal of the ACA, as earlier in January it filed a motion [JURIST report] to stay a federal court order preventing the federal government from transgender people and women from discrimination in health care, as protected under the ACA. On the same day the Secretary of Health and Human Services warned [JURIST report] that a repeal of the ACA without an immediate replace would create a dangerous situation for American healthcare.