President Donald Trump says Obamacare will collapse under its own weight in the wake of last Friday’s failure of the House Republicans’ health care bill to repeal and replace the law formally known as the Affordable Care Act. But his administration also has the power to force a disaster of its own making.
The system’s problems aren’t fatal, experts say. While consumers in certain pockets of the country have very limited choices of insurers on the public exchanges, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office wrote recently that the individual markets would probably remain stable in most areas under the current law.
On the other hand, active or passive efforts to weaken Obamacare could cause the failure of the individual marketplaces and jeopardize the health care of the more than 12 million Americans covered on them. The law gives the executive branch wide latitude to make certain changes. “There’s a great deal of opportunity to undermine the Affordable Care Act from within,” says Linda J. Blumberg, senior fellow in the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute.