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Conservatives weighed in on President Trump’s executive order on Obamacare on Thursday. The order would, among other things, allow Americans to buy short-term, non–Obamacare compliant insurance plans. At National Review, Theodore Kupfer compared Trump’s move to Obama’s executive actions. “The president, whose agenda is constrained by the Constitution (and, arguably, the ongoing decay of our political institutions), is taking matters into his own hands,” he wrote. “The policy Trump will implement may have its merits: Current regulations prevent consumers from buying cheap, renewable coverage, and this will orient the health-care system in a freer direction. But the process by which he is implementing it does not. Executive unilateralism is wrong irrespective of the executive.” National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru disagreed, writing that Obamacare’s delegation of some health care policymaking to the executive branch opened the door to Thursday’s intervention. “The Affordable Care Act granted the executive branch a fair amount of leeway,” he argued. “It was written in a way that, in my view, moves too much policymaking authority from the legislative to the executive branch. Given that the law was written this way, though, I’m in favor of Trump’s using that leeway in the interest of better health policy.” Rush Limbaugh praised Trump’s order:
This change will allow for the market to begin creating policies that match the need and desire of customers, meaning they’re going to be allowed to scrub existing policies and rewrite new ones that only offer X coverage of this, this coverage, that coverage, not mandate universal coverage for every damn thing that a young 25 year old guy will never need, like contraception coverage. Not gonna be required to buy this kind of stuff. The insurance companies will now be free to create policies that actually feature things people want.
In other news:
Trump’s Thursday tweets about needing to wean Puerto Rico off of aid eventually attracted the ire of many conservatives. The American Conservative’s Daniel Larison called Trump’s comments “bizarre”:
Hurricane Maria made landfall three weeks ago, but Trump is already complaining that Puerto Rico is tying up resources. The government keeps U.S. forces in foreign countries on the other side of the world carrying out dubious missions for more than a decade at enormous expense, but less than a month of using some military resources to help Americans after a catastrophe is apparently a terrible burden. Some of the government’s agencies will be needed in Puerto Rico for a long time to come, and others will always be there because it is part of our country. One gets the impression from a lot of Trump’s complaints about Puerto Rico that he thinks he should get personal credit for the government’s fulfillment of basic obligations to its citizens.
It’s impossible to miss that Trump has signaled repeatedly through his statements and his (lack of) actions that Puerto Ricans shouldn’t be given the same treatment or respect as Americans on the mainland despite the extraordinary disaster that has befallen people on the island. The appropriate response in this situation would be for the president to pledge to support recovery efforts as long as necessary and to reassure citizens living in a disaster area that they won’t be forgotten. Instead, Trump makes it sound as if he can’t wash his hands of the problem soon enough.
“A Twitter pal joked this morning that eventually he’s going to hit on the idea of selling Puerto Rico to Mexico to pay for the wall,” Hot Air’s Allahpundit wrote. “Yesterday I would have laughed at that. Today, after seeing POTUS’s tweets, I give him until no later than Christmas before he’s proposing it in earnest.”