Many of my media colleagues have been lauding President Donald Trump for signing an executive order earlier this week directing the federal Department of Health and Human Services to require health care providers to inform patients in advance of the true costs of medications and services.
The gist of the president’s order seems universally pleasing. Who doesn’t want to know from a health care provider — your physician, an emergency facility or a hospital — what the likely cost will be to you and what the actual cost of medications was to the provider? We all would like to know that. But does the president have the constitutional authority to order it? In a word: No.
Here is the backstory.
In 2010, Congress enacted and President Barack Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. It was Obama’s signature legislation and, in his own words, it defined his presidency.
Obamacare consisted of a nearly complete federal takeover of
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