Dismantling Obamacare: what has Trump done and who will it affect?

Donald Trump took two extraordinary steps to undo his predecessor’s signature health law on Thursday, measures that could fatally damage Obamacare despite the repeated failure of Republicans in Congress to repeal it.

Having expanded access to cheaper and less comprehensive insurance – which experts predict will result in health plans for the sick becoming more expensive – with an executive order on Thursday morning, the president issued a surprise notice that night scrapping federal subsidies underpinning the system.

Trump’s actions could undermine the health marketplace millions of Americans depend on and hurt some of the US’s most vulnerable people. The president spent much of his campaign issuing vague promises to replace Barack Obama’s health law – which expanded coverage to nearly 20 million people – and he has been frustrated by his fellow Republicans’ inability to coalesce around a plan to do so.

What exactly did Trump do?

Unlike most developed countries, the US does not have a national health system, and since Americans have the most expensive system in the world, even a hospital trip can be financially ruinous. This is why health insurance is such a necessity.

Most Americans get insurance one of three ways: through government programs for the poor and elderly called Medicaid and Medicare, through their employer, or through the online marketplaces set up by Obama’s Affordable Care Act in 2010.

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