Report: Trump Prepping Order To Gut Obamacare’s Individual Mandate

Oliver Contreras/SIPPL Sipa USA

The Trump administration is currently sitting on an executive order that would essentially gut Obamacare’s individual mandate—the pillar of the law that requires all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty, according to a report Monday in the Washington Examiner. The White House, however, denied the news, telling the Examiner the question of the mandate is “best resolved legislatively.”

Because the President is not legally able to repeal the individual mandate by executive action, the order would instead chip away at it by massively expanding the so-called “hardship exemptions” people can claim for not complying with the law. There are already 14 reasons people can get an exemption from the mandate, ranging from a death in the family to homelessness.

The White House would not comment on the rumored policy change, telling TPM: “We don’t get ahead of potential EOs until they’re ready to be announced.”

The Examiner reports that Trump has not yet signed the executive order because the administration’s first choice is to pressure Congress to include a full repeal of the individual mandate in their tax bill—a gambit that so far has been unsuccessful as Republican lawmakers fear adding the controversial policy will doom the bill’s chances in the Senate.


Alice Ollstein is a reporter at Talking Points Memo, covering national politics. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been reporting in DC ever since, covering the Supreme Court, Congress and national elections for TV, radio, print, and online outlets. Her work has aired on Free Speech Radio News, All Things Considered, Channel News Asia, and Telesur, and her writing has been published by The Atlantic, La Opinión, and The Hill Rag. She was elected in 2016 as an at-large board member of the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Alice grew up in Santa Monica, California and began working for local newspapers in her early teens.