WASHINGTON D.C. - President Trump on Thursday announced he is "starting the process" of repealing and replacing Obamacare with his executive order to change some aspects of health insurance coverage.
Mr. Trump, surrounded by top administration officials, business leaders and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, praised his executive order as step towards repealing and replacing his predecessor's signature health care law.
Mr. Trump, stuck with a Republican-led Congress that hasn't passed a bill to undo Obamacare like he pledged to do, announced earlier this week that he is resorting to his "pen" instead.
Mr. Trump, who began to walk out of the Oval Office Thursday before signing the order until Vice President Mike Pence reminded him to sign it, used that pen on Thursday.
Mr. Trump said the order will cost the U.S. government "virtually nothing," and his plan will make insurance companies to start "fighting" to sign people up for care.
"You'll get such low prices for such great care," he said.
Mr. Trump didn't back down on his desire to repeal Obamacare and fulfill a signature campaign promise, despite the GOP-led Congress' inability to agree on how to do that. Mr. Trump said he is still committed to working with Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare, "once and for all."
The executive order is intended to make lower-premium plans more widely available. The president has long talked of his desire to make plans available across state lines, something this order will apparently do.
The White House views this as an action that will "increase the healthcare choices for millions of Americans, potentially allowing some employers to join together across state lines to offer coverage," according to a background call before the order's signing.
But the president's executive order is likely to face backlash from medical groups, and could very well face a legal challenge.
Since Congress can't get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people - FAST— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
Former President Barack Obama was criticized heavily by Republicans in 2014 when he said, "I've got a pen and I've got a phone," a nod to his intention to use executive action when Congress wouldn't cooperate.