Donald Trump signs his first executive order targeting Obamacare

He issued the symbolic order within hours of his presidency

President Donald Trump signs an executive order as Vice President Mike Pence looks on at the White House in Washington, DC on January 20, 2017.
President Donald Trump signs an executive order as Vice President Mike Pence looks on at the White House in Washington, DC on January 20, 2017.

Donald Trump split away from his inauguration festivities Friday to sign the first executive order of his presidency, which directed the federal government to begin dismantling Obamacare.

The wide-ranging, single-page order instructs government agencies to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from or delay implementation of any provision or requirement" of the healthcare law that could pose a “fiscal burden” on state, drug companies, individuals and insurers.

Since the Affordable Healthcare Act has been set in regulation, Mr Trump cannot fully repeal the 2010 law with executive action. Today's symbolic order fulfilled his campaign promise to immediately begin repealing his President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.

The memo also states that it's the administration's priority to "repeal and replace" the healthcare law. However, the president and Republicans have yet to propose a replacement for the law that currently insures more than 30 million Americans.

“This order doesn't in and of itself do anything tangible,” Larry Levitt, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told Vox. “But, it directs federal agencies to start taking steps to use their administrative authority to unwind the ACA in all sorts of ways. This is a signal that the Trump administration is not waiting for Congress to start making big changes.”

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