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UGA Expert on Trump Executive Order on Health Care

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After the GOP-led Congress failed to repeal and replace Obamacare, President Trump signed an executive order which he says will expand options. Critics say it would limit coverage and increase premiums.

The President says his Executive Order will expand choice and competition, but some experts say the measure will loosen guidelines and regulations. Grace Bagwell Adams is a professor in the University of Georgia's College of Public Health. She says the order raises concerns that less expensive plan options would negatively impact many Americans.

“If consumers are given an option to purchase health plans that don’t have to follow under the same guidelines that the Affordable Care Act set for insurance companies to follow, they would be purchasing cheaper plans, but that’s going to be a younger healthier American that opts for that kind of plan,” Bagwell Adams said. “That increases the amount of risk left in the insurance pool for people who buy plans in the exchange.”

Bagwell Adams says many people may be left under-insured. No significant changes will occur for months since federal agencies must develop the regulations and guidelines for the changes.

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Professor Grace Bagwell Adams

According to the White House, the executive order directs the Department of Labor, among other agencies, to consider expanding several measures including Association heath plans, which could allow for employers to form groups across state lines; and health reimbursement arrangements or HRAs, which would give employees more flexibility in financing their heath care.