Frustrated by Congress, Trump acts alone on health care

Trump signed an executive order taking the first steps to expand insurance options, but critics argue it could destabilize insurance markets.
12:00 | 10/12/17

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Transcript for Frustrated by Congress, Trump acts alone on health care
I'm glad to meet your artery. Mr. President you need in order you call. And they have president trump leaving a room in the White House three was flanked by members of his administration. Few key members of congress and also some small business owners there. Signing an executive order taking matters into his own hands when it comes to Health Care Reform. We're gonna talk about what the impact of that executive order. Might be day in the long run let's talk now with my colleague Mary Alice park she joins us live from Washington DC peer out I you culinary out. And I am hey and we also got Alex Mallon with that he joins us from the White House north line out that the going. Green areas I'm good I'm good is so he was so excited about it Mary ass he almost forgot to sign it. The most important part of the whole DL but let's talk about some of the details and that's. Because if there's some broad strokes there in the announcement what exactly is happening with the executive order what is it asking. Federal agencies to jail. I think you hit the nail on the head right there the big headline from today is that despite Audi appearances of a big change. Nothing new really happens today there's no new rules are no. New regulations or changes in regulations. Thank go into a fact instead the president was asking a federal agencies to consider. Changing the rules so there's a little bit of a question of grandstanding here. Now the federal agencies do have a lot of power to potentially change the rules very dramatically but we'll have to keep. Keep and keep our eyes peeled for what changes made my actually put into place summit things that he suggesting. The idea and that small business says and perhaps even self employed individuals. Could band together and form associations. Have essentially more marketing war right negotiating power. In the marketplace when they're dealing with health insurance companies they're trying to. To to get plans and lower at lower cost but of their be out warm market power they can stand together. The big question there is whether the federal government will say that those new plans that they negotiate we'll have to meet the same standards. About current lot of previous. Iterations of the Affordable Care Act. I can go line there's there's the idea and that they might allow. States to continue to offer our it's smaller more bare bones short term plans and that tend to be cheaper. If they might be able to offer those for longer periods of time. I'm against some of the is that these the president asking for federal agencies to consider some of these changes somebody's possible changes down around. So there's Alex here a lot of sort of the language is is important there's agencies considering are looking into. Possible changes there's a lot of could have maybe down the line be thankful happen but we know Ali with had a chance to hear from some administration officials on background. We heard the president there talking about the fact that millions and millions of Americans could find relief. In some way if these things were to go into a fact. Do we have any idea how many people would be impacted how they could be impacted other anything gay yeah analysis going into these proposal. I mean that's what we pressed the administration officials on and that background call and they didn't really have any answers they didn't have any answers on exactly when. Any of these policies that the president's putting forward for asking these agencies to consider might even be put into effect. And and they also were asked whether he would that the agency that. Agencies had a chance to review any any data points that they could provide. It's whether they've they've passed it asked about what this would mean for any of these Americans that they say are being burdened. By obamacare and and they just didn't happen so really I mean we haven't even seen the text of the executive order yet. So it's really just not clear. How how Americans would be affected. But opponents of this you know are quick to say. That the more that you offer these bare bones plans as very outs is pointing out. That the more that that there's so much more uncertainty as to what would happen to the marketplace as as a whole. I mean that that is really what has been there are insurers have said. Since the start of the trump administration has been the driver of premiums is that have been increasing. Is this uncertainty that that they really do not know the future of the eight CA so really become civil to put any stock. Into how they want it should care for these plans and in continued offer affordable and quality health care. For for for regular Americans. And Mary Alice Odyssey that uncertainty is something we've been talking about for awhile when it comes to be larger insurance market just about. What will happen we've insurance in America has led to higher premiums. Across the board in some cases but one thing we do know for sure about the way insurance works when you offer. Another option for healthy individual to save money and buy into in Pullman out of the existing marketplace. Fattening the burden goes back to the people who actually need more comprehensive coverage that has been attention point throughout this entire debate. That's right and it's sort of an intellectual debate taking place in Washington around the country there people that say if you offer. Smaller more bare bones plans annual. Bring premiums down for people that are OK with that tends to be healthier younger Americans that just don't want to pay for larger more extensive coverage. But the result can be exactly like you sad. That people that need Fuller coverage that wants more robust plants could end at paying a lot more. It's a gamble. Whether wit Latin how will play out what works how what the impacts of the market will be. In a lot of ways but the president is suggesting is a return issue. It's into the health care landscape before any Affordable Care Act regency. Trips people that needed more coverage but they're buying on her own paying a lot more. And others able to buy much more bare bones option. This is at something worth pointing out here Alex of one ask you about this because the optics of today here we have president trump. Surrounded by some key members in a small room signing this executive order that could potentially bring about changes. Think back to may for just a moment. When in the house GOP push through its version. An initial GOP Health Care Reform plan that never ended up going anywhere from there there was a huge Rose Garden reception. All of the GOP members of the house were bused in and surrounded the president there are a lot of clapping and celebration we're seeing that picture. Right there Alex it's very different optics and it strikes me that from the messaging up repeal and replace repeal and replace. It now looks like they've moved to do what we can incrementally just to undermine the existing system. I mean that the president isn't saying today undermining he's calling it. This the actual beginning of repeal were replaced for now but if I look back to that Rose Garden ceremony. I I've I think we could dig up a SoundBite of him saying that today is the beginning of the end of obamacare so really it it's it's it's I think. We've seen the president now reckon with the fact that he's not going to be able to do this right now with congress are just as you said. Yet it's it's really now. His mission to figure out how he can undermine it to a point where congress has to act. Where he believes the Democrats will have to get on board with some kind of version of what he can call repeal and replace because then this past weekend after we saw that the president called Chuck Schumer last Friday. He tweeted that you know what I'm actually going to work with Democrats now on a way to fix obamacare NN and that. The president is asked to clarify exactly what that meant was he abandoning repeal and replace he said you know Democrats can call whenever they like it whatever they want to call it I'm going to cult repeal replace but Democrats have said squarely that. We're any idea. Then signing on to repeal and replace effort. Just even if the administration goes as far as to label that. They are not going to be on board with that but it's another thing that is wanna point out about the B attendees in that room which kind of struck me. With senator Rand Paul who's been. Heat leading opponent in in the Republican Party. Of president trump in the senate GOP's efforts to repeal and replace and on several fronts. But. The it to the president pointed out in his own remarks he's that we get Rand Paul on your side it has to be progress. Now exactly what the rest of the senate GOP thinks of what's going on today whether it's going to push them to act. Sooner that is. Again two it remains to be seen. Rights and Larry Allen here's where you don't even with the answer is what it does the rest of the GOP think about that. Well I think it's interesting that Rand Paul observation too because the present at the end of his remarks brought up tax reform. It's clearly on his mind the next big ticket item that he really and he it's congress to get done. Republicans agree they need. To pass hump thing in his first year and has been a lot of talk that Rand Paul might need it heat to giving tax reform. Over the finish line he's been one of the biggest critics on some of the tax proposals to date so it was this some. Behind the scenes background weights make sure that Rand Paul comes to the table on tax or form we'll see that's really interesting it'll be something to watch. And learning other Republicans think about this you know that's a great question I think that we saw a lot of Republican lawmakers in that round. I'm excited that the president was taking this stat. But it's really interesting that in the past they were incredibly critical of former app President Obama when he would take matters into his own hands and he went. Would sign an executive order and executive action to do something that the congress had failed to do they sent that was. Out overreach on behalf of the White House overreach on behalf of the president. But now when is their guy and a White House based seem to be all for so it's going to be a lot of questions for lawmakers on a tell whether it made sense for the president to take these actions where they won't make. A big difference and whether they even agreeing with with the contents up man. And merry outlets reporting out there guys also tweeting about it we there's a couple of days ago he that look at congress. Is not going to act. I'm gonna take matters into my own hands we see that today with him taking the pen and signing that executive order. They have that tweets of congress can't get its act together on health care I'll be using the power of the pen to get great health care. Too many people. All caps. Fast so is this how the pressure continues to go very allies he just gonna take incremental steps executive orders until congress have to do something about it. Perhaps I didn't painting business how ironic so how that tweet where I hazing we have example after example when the president sent that this was. Inappropriate of previous presidents to do exactly. That those of meal reversal from this administration to now say that that he can take matters into his own hands when congress. Has been not been able to act just remarkable. And whether it's the next stack the next ascent Arabic administration perhaps. I wouldn't he wouldn't be the first president to get frustrated when congress can't get something done. But I am but whether it actually brings Democrats in the negotiating team Walt whether it actually. In sparks a fire and Republicans to pass some repeal replace legislation. Not just remains to be seen that and that the proof is in the planning and me we just don't have an MD tells yet how exactly some executive board will play out. That we could be a long way away from that yet Mary Alice park Alex nine thanks for being here guys. Thanks again. Thanks to all of you for watching as well remember you can head over to abcnews.com a time for the latest on this story and many others or download ABC news that. Get all those breaking news headlines an update. Write to your phone for now I'm on the Abbas and the.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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