Donald Trump signed his first major executive order as President hours after being inaugurated, granting federal agencies the power to minimize "the economic burden" of Obamacare and rescind major regulations created under the health care law.
In addition to the presidential action on Obamacare, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus will also send out a memo to all government agencies and departments calling for a regulatory freeze, Spicer said.
Section 2 of the order instructs the secretary of HHS to "exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" parts of the law that would place a fiscal burden on states, individuals or healthcare providers. And it's unclear whether Trump and his party have a clear plan as to how to extend coverage to those 20 million people who have health insurance because of the law.
An executive order still has to comply within the law, but the agencies, especially Health and Human Services, have a lot of flexibility in how they interpret the law.
Overall, 49 per cent say they favor the 2010 health care law, more formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), while 47 per cent oppose it.
Repealing and replacing Obamacare could benefit the pharmaceutical industry if it allows drugmakers to get cutting-edge new medicines to more USA patients, said Joe Jimenez, chief executive officer of Swiss health-care giant Novartis AG.
Protesters Clash With Police in DC
President Barack Obama said he would laud Republicans if they were able to come up with a better system.
Furthermore, the official White House website deleted its pages on civil rights, climate change and LGBTQ rights following Trump's inauguration.
Enacted in 2010, Obamacare aims to extends health insurance to the estimated 15 per cent of the United States population without coverage.
Trump has made ObamaCare repeal a top priority during his campaign and transition period. A bill to formally repeal the law via budget reconciliation is expected from Republicans on January 27.
Trump has promised his healthcare plan would cover more people, provide more coverage and be cheaper than what the ACA provided.
Electrical Malfunction Caused Fire in Tehran High-Rise
Iran's state-run Press TV says 30 firefighters have been killed in the collapse of a burning high-rise building in Tehran. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani , meanwhile, has called on government officials to determine the causes of the fire.