President Donald Trump on Tuesday hinted on Twitter that he’s getting closer to signing anexecutive order that could erode Obamacare, after Republicans inCongress failed to pass a repeal bill.

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The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing anadministration official, that an executive order regardingassociation health plans would be signed this week. The officialechoed the president’s Sept. 27 comments to reporters, when he saidhe would “be signing a very major executive order where people cango out, cross state lines, do lots of things and buytheir own health care.”

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An order allowing association health plans would give Americansin the individual market who don’t receive government subsidiesanother health care option outside of the Affordable Care Act.About 83 percent of the 12.2 million people covered by Obamacarehealth plans get subsidies that help them pay their premiums,according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and MedicaidServices.

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“Obamacare is so screwed up and so expensive, and it’sespecially bad for people who don’t get subsidies. This gives theman alternative,” said Robert Laszewski, president of the HealthPolicy and Strategy Associates, a consulting firm specializingin assisting insurance companies and other clients through healthpolicy changes.

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The pending executive order is Trump’s latest attempt to followthrough on his campaign pledge to get rid of his predecessor’slandmark bill. Last week, the president signed an order that stopped requiring manyemployers to offer birth-control coverage, saying it would protectAmericans’ religious freedom.

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Associations likely wouldn’t be required to sell to people withpre-existing health conditions and wouldn’t be required to offer 10essential benefits set forth by Obamacare, Brookings Instituteanalyst Matt Fiedler said Monday. These benefits include pregnancyand newborn care, hospitalization, mental health andsubstance-abuse services and rehabilitation.

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Fiedler said the damage to the individual insurance market wouldbe “quite significant” because healthier people would seek cheapercoverage through associations, driving up premiums in the Obamacaremarket.

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