Community Reacts to Trump's latest health care executive order

Two pedestrians walking through downtown Grants Pass. (KTVL/Alexander Mesadieu)

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday, that among other things would direct Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to consider expanding access to association health plans. It also directs the Labor Department, Treasury Department, and Health and Human Services Department to consider expanding coverage for short term limited duration plans.

News10 reached out to both the Jackson County Republican Party, and the Jackson County Democratic Party, as well as AllCare Health, and the Josephine County Chamber of Commerce, to get their take on this order.

The community has been split on this issue.

While both the Jackson County Republican Party and Jackson County Democratic Party admitted that they have to spend more time studying this executive order, their opinions contrasted.

The Jackson County Democratic Party said that they see some positives in the executive order but are worried that it may have some negative impacts on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare. Steve Richie of the Jackson County Republican Party says while he still needs to research the executive order more, he is happy that President Trump is doing something to fight the Affordable Care Act.

"From what I know about this, is it allows companies to buy insurance through associations, which I think perhaps is a good thing, but if it's a cover for allowing people to buy cheap insurance so that they qualify and don't have to pay the penalty through the ACA I would say that's probably not a good thing. If we don't have the proper standards of coverage then people are buying something that they really can't cash in on if they were to get into a serious accident," David Roadman, chairman of the Jackson County Democratic Party said.

"The unaffordable care act has been terrible for our family, it's more than doubled our premium in the last few years, and has not done anything to improve our care, in fact we seek medical care and pay cash for it because the Affordable Care Act does not work for us. So I'm glad to see something's being done to bring down the cost of health care." said Steve Richie, vice chairman of the Jackson County Republican party.

The business community in Josephine County say that they also have had challenges dealing with healthcare.

"Looking at the healthcare for businesses, particularly the small businesses in our area, I think something needs to be done. I think that [Trump's] idea of working through associations is an amazing idea. As a Chamber of Commerce, we've tried for years with health care providers to be able to allow associations to work to get healthcare and that would be great for small businesses. It would be a huge win," said Colene Martin of the Grants Pass and Josephine County Chamber of Commerce.

AllCare Health say that this latest executive order may put a little bit of uncertainty into the future of the healthcare market, something that could have a large unforeseen impact.

"Uncertainty is very bad because you just don't know what the down the stream impacts are gonna end up being and it's almost impossible to prepare for that," said Josh Balloch, Vice President of Government Affairs with AllCare Health.

AllCare, like the other groups that News 10 spoke to today, say that it is too early to fully evaluate the long term impact of President Trump's executive order on health care.

They say that people should talk to their health care providers and experts before making panic decisions because of the latest health care executive order.

According to Balloch, as of writing, Medicaid patients are not expected to be affected by the latest executive order.

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