This little tidbit comes from the Washington Examiner, which has been pretty on top of all things Trump lately.
“The Trump administration has prepared an executive order that would unravel Obamacare’s individual mandate, but has put it on hold to see whether repealing the penalties for going uninsured might be included in the Republican tax bill instead,….”
So you might be protesting: “He can’t do this! The individual mandate is written into the law!” And you would be right. But there is something else that is written into the law, and we’ve seen this used over and over again by this administration to weaken the effect of Obamacare: the administration has been given broad discretion to rewrite the rules. In this case, per the Washington Examiner:
“Trump cannot repeal the individual mandate through executive order, but he can direct the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to broaden “hardship exemptions,” which under Obamacare are left to the discretion of the administration. The exemptions allow customers to have ways to get out of paying the fine for not having coverage, which is $695 per adult or 2.5 percent of income, whichever is higher.”
All this starts to explain a late push by the president to eliminate the individual mandate through the tax reform legislation. We’re starting to get a good feel for the President’s MO: give the Senate a chance to deal with an issue and when they don’t do what can be done to push it to the forefront. He’s done this with the NAFTA and the TPP, the JFK files, some of the Obamacare subsidies, DACA, and now he is using this same strategy to address the individual mandate.
Now you, too, understand the battle plan and can predict what Trump is going to do next.