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Donald Trump Signs Executive Order On Health Care

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WASHINGTON (WBAL) — Frustrated by failures in Congress, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday that aims to make lower-premium plans more widely available and will provide "Obamacare relief."

But the changes Trump hopes to bring about could take months or even longer, according to administration officials who outlined the order for reporters Thursday morning. The proposals may not be finalized in time to affect coverage for 2019, let alone next year.

White House domestic policy director Andrew Bremberg stressed that Trump still believes Congress needs to repeal and replace the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. The White House described the order as first steps.

Responding to concerns, the White House said participating employers could not exclude any workers from the plan, or charge more to those in poor health.

Other elements of the White House proposal include:

—Easing current restrictions on short-term policies that last less than a year, an option for people making a life transition, from recent college graduates to early retirees. Those policies are not subject to current federal and state rules that require standard benefits and other consumer protections.

—Allowing employers to set aside pre-tax dollars so workers can use the money to buy an individual health policy.

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