The failure of Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act won’t prevent Donald Trump from blowing a hole in it.

Vox reports on what Trump expects to accomplish by an expected executive order opening up numerous ways to evade the requirements of Obamacare and, thus, wreck the expansion of health coverage for most Americans.


The order would, in effect, exempt many association health plans, groups of small businesses that pool together to buy health insurance, from core Obamacare requirements like the coverage of certain essential health benefits. It would potentially allow individuals to join these plans too, which would put individual insurance marketplaces in serious peril by drawing younger and healthier people away from them.

The draft order is also said to broaden the definition of short-term insurance, which is also exempt from the law’s regulations. Together, these changes represent a serious threat to Obamacare: President Trump seems ready to open more loopholes for more people to buy insurance outside the health care law’s markets, which experts anticipate would destabilize the market for customers who are left behind with higher premiums and fewer insurers.

Vox’s report is based on a purported draft of an executive order. But something is cooking, as one Tweet issued this morning by Trump indicated — amid a cotinued barrage on kneeling football players, immigrants and other pet provocations.