Executive Orders, Put Simply

Executive orders, often controversial, but not uncommon. Since 1789, more than 13,000 executive orders have been issued in total, being utilised by every President from George Washington to Donald Trump....but what are executive orders, and how do they work?

An executive order is “an order a rule or order issued by the president to an executive branch of the government and having the force of law.”

Although the United States Constitution does not specifically permit the President of the United States the right to issue executive orders; Article II of the Constitution does grant to the President, “executive power”, this quite ambiguous phrase has been interpreted by Presidents through history to be the creation of the right to issue executive orders.

There are many reasons for executive orders to be created, but one of the most prominent is to ensure that a law, which may not pass Congress, is enacted. This is one of the reasons that executive orders are often so controversial; they are utilised to pass controversial laws.

Congress has no legal avenue to reverse an executive order they dislike, only the judiciary has the power to perform such an action. Three examples of this are

1. Truman’s 1952 order, preventing strikes during the Korean War by placing all of America’s steel mills under federal law.

2. Clinton’s 1995 order, preventing the federal government from entering into contracts with companies/businesses that hire replacements for workers on strike.

3. Trump's travel ban on individuals from certain Middle Eastern countries was rejected, and hence paused, recently by federal judges.

There is only one other way for an executive order to be reversed, an avenue that again lies in the White House’s corridors of power. A new administration can legally scrap any executive order of a previous administration.

There is no doubt that executive orders will continue to be controversial, but there is also no doubt that they will continue to be a part of American politics for many years to come.

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Obamacare, Put Simply

Since the beginning of the recently concluded Presidential Race, Republican candidate, and now President, Donald Trump has been insistent on the fact that the Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare, should be repealed and replaced. Following his inauguration on Friday, and his first Executive Order having the aim of ‘minimising the economic burden’ of the Act, the issue of Obamacare is a hot topic currently. In this article, we will examine the reasons behind Trump’s (and the Republican Party’s) view, whilst also looking at the reasons surrounding its implementation in the first place and the advantages it brings.

Advantages Obamacare brings

  • Due to the implementation of the Act, Tens of millions of uninsured Americans now have access to affordable, high-quality health insurance as a result of the expansion to Medicaid which Obamacare has brought alongside other factors. This directly tackles the vast inequalities in healthcare which have plagued America in modern history.
  • The many protections which Obamacare brings ensures that insurance companies no longer have the power to drop you from your coverage if you become sick or make honest mistakes on your application forms. The system also prevents patients being charged more for being sick, whilst women can’t be charged more simply because they are a woman.
  • Under Obamacare, preventative care is free and therefore the introduction of this act has allowed the prevention of several diseases across US society as a whole.
  • Children up to the age of 26 can now be added to their parent's Insurance plans in the period in which they cannot afford their own care. Even those with pre-existing conditions have to be covered by insurance companies as the Act bans insurance companies from denying them protection.

Disadvantages of Obamacare - Why the Republicans want to Repeal It

  • In order to fund the Insurance of the extra tens of millions of citizens, new taxes have been implemented, mainly on the high earners in society and the healthcare industry itself. This has caused friction in society and anger from those being taxed more. With the Republicans taking a lot of their support base from the wealthy elite inside the US, showing the desire to repeal such an act has been positive among their support.
  • The policy that under Obamacare, the insurance companies have to cover the sick, in turn, increases the cost of everyone’s insurance plan. This combined with the fact that under the system, all of those who can afford healthcare need to obtain coverage, means that many American’s are being left out of pocket through the Act, and this has led many, including Donald Trump to claim the system is failing and is too expensive.
  • Despite young people, generally being healthier and in less need of health care compared to their older American counterparts, the low premiums and benefits of having a plan for them means that they receive some of the best deals out of everybody.

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