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Trump's executive order on kidneys piggybacks on the ACA

Without the Affordable Care Act, Trump's big new policy on addressing kidney disease wouldn't be possible.
President Donald Trump pauses before signing an executive order about regulatory reform in the Oval Office of the White House February 24, 2017 in Washington, DC.

As a rule, when Donald Trump signs an executive order, there's reason for concern about abuses and regressive steps backward. Today, however, the president appears to have done something worthwhile -- though he neglected to mention an important detail.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the government to revamp the nation's care for kidney disease so that more people whose kidneys fail have a chance at early transplants and home dialysis.Trump said his order was intended to increase the supply of donated kidneys, make it easier for patients to undergo dialysis in the comfort of their own homes and prioritize the development of an artificial kidney.

This is the first of several steps, though as Vox's piece noted, the administration's new policy "would make it easier for living donors to give kidneys and other organs, promote the donation of organs from deceased people, and restructure payment for health care providers to reduce the rate of kidney failure in the first place."

On balance, it looks like this executive order is a genuinely good idea. I guess Trump is helping prove the broken-clock theory.

In fact, the president's policy has so much merit, I'm not even going to mention his odd remarks about the executive order, including his assertion, "The kidney has a very special place in the heart." It'd be easy to have a little fun with that, but I won't.

I am, however, inclined to shine a light on a relevant detail Trump neglected to mention: he's piggybacking on the Affordable Care Act.

As Dan Diamond explained, the president's new strategy "wouldn't be possible without Obamacare."

That's undeniably true. As the Associated Press reported, "These changes are being implemented through Medicare’s innovation center, created under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act and empowered to seek savings and improved quality. The Trump administration is relying on the innovation center even as it argues in federal court that the law that created it is unconstitutional and should be struck down entirely."