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“The Trump executive order should be seen more as a mission statement, and less as a monarchical edict that can instantly change the law.”
As Republicans rally ’round their health care policy better known as, “Repeal and … y’know … whatever”, this is President Trump’s ante; Margot Sanger-Katz explains for the Upshot:
The order spells out the various ways that a Trump administration might fight the parts of the health law until new legislation comes: by writing new regulations and exercising discretion where allowed. Regulations can be changed, but, as the order notes, only through a legal process of “notice and comment” that can take months or years.
On matters of discretion, the administration can move faster, but there are limited places where current law gives the administration much power to quickly change course.
How much of the order is bluster and how much it signals a set of significant policy changes in the pipeline is unclear. The order was not specific and did not direct any particular actions.
“Right off the bat, what do they do―something incredibly cryptic that nobody understands,” said Rodney Whitlock, a vice president of M.L. Strategies, a Washington consulting firm. Mr. Whitlock was a longtime health policy aide to Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa.
Flaccid and impotent are two fun words to describe Mr. Trump’s quest for presidential legitimacy, but we ought not allow that spectacle of futility become so distracting as to overlook the functional reality. Donald Trump is still a joke, but he is an extraordinarily dangerous joke. The president himself might be pathetic, but the damage his ignorance and petulant impertinence can do is grave and massive.
Image note: President-elect Donald Trump meets with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., 10 November 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)
Sanger-Katz, Margot. “What Does Trump’s Executive Order Against Obamacare Actually Do?” The Upshot. 21 January 2017.