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Decoding the Obamacare executive order

A few notes on what else is in the executive order:

  • Key phrase: "provide greater flexibility to States and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs."
  • Experts are interpreting that as a nod to giving states more Medicaid waivers, and possibly encouraging the "Section 1332" waivers in Obamacare, which are supposed to allow the states to come up with different ways to achieve the law's goals.
  • From Stanford's Lanhee Chen, Mitt Romney's former policy director and a member of the Axios board of outside experts: "It is quite broad and sweeping in its potential scope. It has the potential to be game-changing with respect to enforcement of the mandates, as well as state innovation in Medicaid.
  • What's next, according to Chen: "The big question is how far the administration will take it, and whether they are willing to use some of the same broad interpretations of executive authority that the Obama administration did, albeit for very different ends."
  • A former Senate Democratic aide who helped write Obamacare — Harvard's John McDonough, another member of the Axios board of experts — isn't convinced the order means much: "It seems in this instance as though Trump is shooting with rubber bullets."
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