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Trump signs executive order on health care - here's what will change

President Donald Trump signed an executive order intended to give Americans more health care options. (Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday to ease the burden of Obamacare and open up options for health care associations.

Here's President Trump's announcement:

How will this change health care?

His order unravels regulations imposed by Obamacare that kept younger, healthier people from buying cheap and less extensive health plans. While this will help those people find cheaper health care options, it will likely raise costs for older and sicker Americans.

That's because Obamacare forced younger, healthier Americans to purchase insurance they didn't want and didn't need at prices that would subsidize that of older and sicker Americans' care.

What about health care associations?

The order tasks the Labor Department to study how health care associations can be implemented to increase competition and lower health insurance costs.

Association health plans, which are usually sponsored by trade organizations or interest groups, already exist. Spurred by the executive order, federal agencies could amend the rules governing these plans so they are no longer subject to state regulation, said health policy experts, speaking before the order was issued. Instead, the nationwide plans may come under the same federal oversight as large-employer policies.

This feature has been championed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and could allow companies or individuals to buy insurance across state lines, depending on how the program is implemented.

Here's Rand Paul praising Trump for the order:

"President Trump is doing what I believe is the biggest free market reform of health care in a generation," said Paul.

Will this push Obamacare toward collapse?

Yes, it will likely hasten the "death spiral" some say the program is in, by taking away the money being brought in by young people being forced to pay insurance they didn't want.

How have Democrats reacted?

Democrats appear to have adopted the mantra of calling Trump's order "sabotage" of Obamacare, and more broadly, the health care system.

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