By Thursday, Health Insurance Could Be Sold Across State Lines
As streiff wrote last week, President Donald Trump has no intention of owning the Obamacare albatross now that it’s clear McCain and the GOP malcontents (which would be a great band name!) have made it clear they’ve no intention of repealing it. So Trump, streiff points out, has several options at his disposal to make sure it fails, forcing Congress to act.
Trump appears to be serious, indicating on Twitter today that an executive order on healthcare is forthcoming:
One of the big elements of that executive order could be the easing of regulations on group purchasing of healthcare, a move that would potentially allow insurance to be sold across state lines (cue the collective applause of millions of conservative voters across the country).
President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order later this week that would allow people to pool together and purchase group insurance plans, according to The New York Times.
Association health plans allow groups such as community organizations, churches or professional associations to purchase health plans together. Many insurance companies oppose this kind of pooled purchase, as they argue the plans take healthy patients out of the individual markets.
The executive order is the first step in President Trump’s plan to issue another directive that would allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, though it is still unclear if he has the authority to do so.
“I am considering an executive order on associations, and that will take care of a tremendous number of people with regard to health care,” President Trump said late September, according to The New York Times. “I’ll probably be signing a very major executive order where people can go out, cross state lines, do lots of things, and buy their own health care…It’s going to cover a lot of territory and a lot of people — millions of people.”
Trump is also on record, POLITICO reports, as indicating it was Congress’ ineptitude that forced his hand on the introduction of an executive order outlining an alternative to Obamacare.
“[People] will be able to buy, they’ll be able to cross state lines and they will get great competitive health care and it will cost the United States nothing,” Trump said today. “With Congress the way it is, I decided to take it upon myself.”
In an interview with Forbes published Tuesday morning, Trump reiterated his position that Obamacare is “a total mess” and insisted that while the healthcare law is now his responsibility, blame for its struggles fall entirely at the feet of his predecessor. “Obamacare is Obama’s fault. It’s never going to be our fault,” Trump said.
“What we’re doing is trying to keep it afloat, because it’s failing,” the president said. “I mean the insurance companies are fleeing and have fled. They fled before I got here. But with that being said, no, Obamacare is Obama’s fault. It’s nobody else’s fault.”
The Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services are already readying themselves for the executive order, that may come as early as Thursday.
According to POLITICO, the concern from Democrats is again centered on those with pre-exisiting conditions.
Concerns about undermining Obamacare’s patient protections — including a ban on charging people more based on their health status — helped sink multiple Republican efforts to repeal and replace the law.
But conservative Republicans including Paul have continued to insist that rolling back Obamacare’s regulations are the only path to lowering premiums and increasing competition.
Business groups are already on board with an expansion of coverage that comes with increased market competition that they can make available to their members or employees.
“Any effort to jump start this issue and provide more competition in the states, in the individual and small group market, is welcome,” said Neil Trautwein, the vice president for health policy at the National Retail Federation.