Trump Points To 94-Year-Old Eligible For Medicare As Reason To Overhaul O’Care

Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump pointed to the premium hikes a guest of his at the White House Tuesday was facing as his reason to “do something” about the Affordable Care Act — a move that may come in an executive order as soon as this week.

Never mind that the guest Trump cited was former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is 94 years old and thus eligible for Medicare. It is unlikely that Kissinger is getting his insurance from Obamacare’s individual market, yet Trump claimed that he did not want to “pay 116 percent increase in his premiums.”

“Now, we’re going to have to do something with Obamacare because it’s failing.  Henry Kissinger does not want to pay 116 percent increase in his premiums, but that’s what’s happening,” Trump said, after hinting at what the “something” he will sign “probably this week” will do.

It will “go a long way, to take care of many of the people that have been so badly hurt on health care,” Trump said.

“And they’ll be able to buy, they’ll be able to cross state lines, and they will get great, competitive health care, and it will cost the United States nothing.  Take care of a big percentage of the people we’re talking about, too,” he said.

As the Wall Street Journal and others reported, the Trump administration is working on an executive order relaxing some insurance regulations put into place by Trump’s predecessor, President Obama. The move will make it easier to purchase non-Obamacare-compliant insurance through “association health plans,” according to the Journal. In such a scenarios, people who organize themselves around a trade group or some other collective interest can pool together to buy plans that are exempt from certain ACA regulations.

The executive order will also seek to lengthen the time “short-term” health plans are available to consumers — from three months under Obama, to a year — officials told the Journal.

Both changes stand to funnel healthier people out of the Obamacare exchanges and into cheaper and more barebones plans. Those consumers who need more comprehensive coverage will see their premiums rise and insurers may just leave the marketplaces entirely.