The Trump administration has prepared an executive order that would unravel Obamacare’s individual mandate, but has put it on hold to see whether it might be included in the Republican tax bill instead, a GOP senator told the Washington Examiner.

According to the senator, an executive order is sitting with the Office of Management and Budget waiting for approval. President Trump decided to delay the executive order after Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., pushed for the inclusion of the individual mandate repeal in the tax bill, and has been supportive of its inclusion in statements he has made on Twitter.

. . .

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he was confident the House would pass the GOP’s tax reform legislation before its self-imposed Thanksgiving deadline, adding a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate could still be included in the final version of the proposal.

“Yes, we are on track for moving this through the House before Thanksgiving, that’s our plan,” Ryan told “Fox News Sunday” in an interview taped Friday. “We expect our friends in the Senate to be about a week behind us.”

Ryan said doing away with the controversial individual mandate measure in the Affordable Care Act was still on the negotiation table among House Republicans.

. . .

In this issue of JAMA, Emanuel and colleagues propose an Affordability Index to measure the ability of the average US household to pay for its medical expenses. As the authors point out, standard economic measures used to track health spending do not adequately represent the effect of rising costs on families.

Emanuel and colleagues correctly observe that aggregated measures of health spending in the United States are not helpful to most people. Their intent is to create a measure using readily accessible data that is intuitive and easy for the average person to understand. Such an index, if widely adopted, might help galvanize public support for efforts to bring more cost discipline to the provision of medical care.

. . .