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.