The effects of Trump's ACA executive order remain to be seen. Photo: Getty Images

It has been a busy couple of weeks of speculation on the future of the Affordable Care Act. Only hours after taking the oath of office, President Trump issued an executive order directing applicable agencies to “ease the burdens of the Affordable Care Act.” Meanwhile, Republican “repeal and replace” proposals continue to dominate the news, and major Affordable Care Act reporting deadlines are fast approaching. Amidst the ever-changing reports, proposal discussions, timing concerns, and general confusion around the future of the law, many employers are left wondering, “Where are we now?”

While the president’s executive order represented his first major step toward fulfilling his promise of ACA repeal, the effects of the order remain to be seen. This is because the order’s impact depends solely on the discretion of heads of the applicable agencies, many of whom have not yet been confirmed. Because the order’s language is a vague request for action from the agencies themselves, its impacts on the ACA could range anywhere from minor to extreme.

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