President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday intended to circumvent the Affordable Care Act by making it easier for individuals and small business to buy different types of health plans with lower prices but also fewer benefits and protections.
The White House and allies portray the president’s move as wielding administrative powers to accomplish what congressional Republicans have failed to achieve: tearing down the law’s insurance marketplaces. The order represents Trump’s biggest step to carry out a broad but ill-defined directive he issued his first night in office for agencies to lessen ACA regulations from the Obama administration.
Critics, who include state insurance commissioners, most of the health-insurance industry and mainstream policy specialists, predict that a proliferation of other types of coverage would have damaging ripple effects: driving up costs for consumers with serious medical conditions and prompting more insurers to flee the law’s marketplaces. Part of Trump’s action, they say, will spark court challenges over its legality.
If this accomplishes what all the experts predict, Trump is going to be genuinely surprised.
Donald Trump’s lawyers are open to having the president sit down for an interview with Robert Mueller, according to a senior White House official, as part of a wider posture of cooperation with the special counsel’s Russia probe.
If Mueller doesn’t request an interview by Thanksgiving, Trump’s lawyers might even force the issue by volunteering Trump’s time, the official said. The White House believes such an interview could help Mueller wrap up the probe faster and dispel the cloud of suspicion over Trump.
A meeting with Mueller could bring serious risks for Trump — exposing him to questions about everything from potential obstruction of justice over his firing of FBI Director James Comey to what Trump might know about Kremlin support for his presidential campaign.
I’d put the odds that Trump perjures himself in that interview at around 94 percent.
* Nicholas Bagley explains what Trump’s executive order on health care does and doesn’t mean.
* A new Quinnipiac poll shows all-time highs of support for regulation of guns, with majorities supporting many specific measures and 63 percent saying it’s possible to regulate guns without damaging gun rights.
* Tim Bontemps and David Fahrenthold report that while many professional sports teams used to patronize Trump hotels, they’ve been fleeing from them en masse.
* Andrew Kaczynski and Chris Massie report that Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore signed a resolution in 2010 proclaiming that states have the right to nullify federal laws they don’t like.
* Jonathan Bernstein explains what the Harvey Weinstein story tells us about the unhinged media bias against Hillary Clinton and the profound reality-denial inside the conservative closed information feedback loop.
* A good one from E.J. Dionne, who contrasts recent policy-heavy tweets from Hillary Clinton with demented megalomaniacal ones from Trump to remind us why more Americans voted for Clinton in 2016.
* And Kevin Cirilli and Sahil Kapur report that Donald Trump is angry and surprised about what’s in his own tax cut plan.