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Trump's deregulation push could spell relief
Could ‘one in, two out’ order be the answer to the high costs of meeting federal government standards?
Shortly after taking office, President Donald Trump issued a so-called “one in, two out” executive order calling for federal agencies to slash twice as many regulations as they create. Some hailed the move as a positive sign that the heavily regulated healthcare sector could find near-term relief, while others expressed skepticism and challenged the nascent administration’s order in court.
While the order does not immediately change any of the rules currently in place, it sets the stage for significant deregulation, perhaps government-wide—and it portends a showdown between Trump and those who favor agency rulemaking as a valid means to progress. Despite the opposition, Trump has vowed to back up his signature with action on an unprecedented scale.
“This will be the biggest such act that our country has ever seen,” Trump said as he signed the order, surrounded by small business leaders. “There will be regulation. There will be control. But it will be a normalized control where you can open your business and expand your business very easily. And that’s what our country has been all about.”
Rick Pollack, president and chief executive of the American Hospital Association (AHA), issued a statement describing the order as an encouraging sign that Trump will curb the “substantial and unsustainable” regulatory regime presently imposed on the healthcare sector.
“Excessive red tape not only stands as a barrier to care but as a key driver of cost,” Pollack said. “Reducing the burden would not only provide relief, but would also provide an opportunity to make care more patient-centered than ever before.”
Even among those who favor deregulation, however, many are quick to note that broad gestures are not always followed by the fine-motor policymaking needed to achieve the desired outcomes. Health policy expert Paul Keckley, PhD, says the order appears to be a move in the right direction—though the quality of the end product will depend on precisely which policies change and how.
“The idea of regulatory simplification for healthcare is certainly a positive, but the devil is in the details,” Keckley says. “So you can choose to get rid of a regulation that might be very onerous, or you can choose one that just lets you check a box.”
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