If President Trump has any plans for another push to repeal the Affordable Care Act, he did not make them known in his State of the Union address Tuesday, which included only one reference to Obamacare — a law Republicans for years promised to dismantle
Referencing the 2016 tax bill’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, Trump claimed that he had “repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare.”
Any other efforts to change or roll back President Obama’s signature legislative achievement did not warrant mention in Trump’s speech. Even his administration’s green light for states to impose work requirements on their Medicaid program got only a vague-at-best-shout out, with a line about the need to “lift our citizens from welfare to work.”
A year ago, Trump was touting a Obamacare repeal push that he claimed would “expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and, at the same time, provide better healthcare.”
The details of such of framework were vague, but appeared to put his thumb on the scale for a proposal that House GOP leadership was preparing to unveil.
A repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate is not nothing. The move, by dis-incentivizing healthy people from buying insurance, stands to raise premiums in the sick people left in the individual market, which experts also fear will be shaken up by an executive order Trump signed after his repeal push fell short in the Senate.
But still standing a year later is the Affordable Care Act’s insurer reforms, its subsidies for premiums and, perhaps most importantly, its expansion of Medicaid, a program lawmakers had sought to knee-cap under their various repeal bills.