• 79°

Editorial: Trump’s bad medicine

President Trump is about as opposite from Barack Obama as two men can be, but he’s learned one thing from the former president — even though Trump and other Republicans criticized Obama sharply for it at the time. When Congress won’t or can’t produce the legislation a president wants, there’s always the executive order.

Evidently, executive unilateralism that’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

On Thursday, the target was the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans have vowed for years to repeal and replace but can’t quite work out. The current president signed an executive order Thursday morning that will, among other things, allow consumers to buy short-term, non–ACA compliant insurance plans — a boon for young, healthy people likely to go that route, but a potential financial threat to older people or those with pre-existing conditions. On Thursday evening, he announced he would stop scheduled payments to insurance companies that help lower deductibles for low-income customers, another blow to vulnerable populations.

Thus the president begins to unravel a system that has helped make health care affordable for millions of Americans. Everyone agrees the ACA is imperfect and needs some degree of revision. An evenhanded solution, though, is more likely to come from congressional action than presidential fiat. Working that out will simply take time.

Trump’s inexperience in governance is a double-edged sword. He is not bound by tradition or the status quo — in fact, he delights in upsetting Washington’s business-as-usual culture. But he also either doesn’t understand or lacks respect for the give and take of legislating. The fact that Republicans haven’t been able to agree on an ACA replacement signals the complexity of the situation — one that an executive order might just make worse.

What Thursday’s order ultimately will mean for consumers is unclear. There’s likely to be little immediate effect on Obamacare markets. The enrollment period is imminent, too imminent for  changes in regulations to be worked out in time for the coming year.

What is clear, though, is that Trump is following in Obama’s footsteps — and then some — when it comes to issuing executive orders. Trump called Obama’s use of executive orders a “basic disaster,” but Trump has signed 49 executive orders since coming into office on Jan. 20. By this time in Obama’s first term, he had signed 26. The irony is inescapable.

Comments

Coronavirus

Rowan Health Department receives 400 Pfizer, 800 Johnson & Johnson vaccines for week

Crime

Blotter: Accident in Food Lion only weekend shooting to produce injuries

Crime

Salisbury man charged with felony drug crimes

Crime

Second person charged in thefts from house near county line

Crime

Police use tear gas to end robbery stand off, arrest suspect

Local

Ask Us: When will Rowan Public Library’s West Branch open?

Nation/World

Prosecution case nears end in ex-cop’s trial in Floyd death

Nation/World

Officer accused of force in stop of Black Army officer fired

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with hitting man with car, fleeing while intoxicated

Local

‘Meet the need’: Rowan County Health Department looks to add to vaccination options

Local

Seaford is first woman in county hired for town manager position since the ’90s

Local

Colonial Spring Frolic makes a comeback to kick off museum’s year

Local

Concord City Council wants to name bridge for fallen officer, Rowan native

Education

RSS administration will recommend selling Faith Elementary property to charter school

Business

Inspired by advice from father-in-law, Angela Mills launches her own business in memory of him

Local

Rowan County Democrats re-elect leaders, pass resolutions

Local

Baseball: Memories come alive in Ferebee book

Local

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, professionals reflect on detecting abuse in a virtual world

Business

Biz Roundup: Small Business Center announces spring slate of workshop for business owners

Clubs

Kiwanis Pancake Festival starts Friday

Local

Rowan fire marshal seeks to clear up confusion, worry caused by solicitation letter

Education

Fun every day: Fifth anniversary for Yadkin Path Montessori School

Nation/World

Charles: Royal family ‘deeply grateful’ for support for Philip

News

North Carolina sites to resume J&J vaccines after CDC review