“I am considering an executive order on associations and that will take care of a tremendous number of people with regard to health care,” said Trump during a brief gaggle with reporters at the White House today.
“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, and that will be probably signed next week. It’s being finished now. It’s going to cover a lot of territory and a lot of people. Millions of people.” said Trump
Current law allows companies to sell health insurance across state lines, but so far few have offered out-of-state policies. To date, although all states have the authority to do so, only six have enacted across state lines legislation.
And even among states that passed laws to allow out-of-state sales, no insurer has entered the market. Skeptics point out the difficulties that companies face in developing a health insurance product that can be sold in multiple states. They include challenges in building a provider network with competitive rates, regulatory and administrative differences across states and the impact on risk pools that could result in higher premiums for less-healthy individuals.
Proponents of the plan insist it can be done.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, touted the idea Wednesday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“I believe President Trump can legalize, on his own, the ability of individuals to join a group or health association across state lines to buy insurance,” said Paul.
While the White House has not offered further guidance on the executive order Trump mentioned, Paul said he’s discussed his proposal with the president.
His plan would expand Association Health Plans, or AHPs, which function by letting small businesses group together in order to buy health insurance. Paul’s plan would amend the 1974 federal law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, under the Department of Labor, and allow non-employer groups, for example alumni associations, to band together and purchase insurance across state lines. Currently, insurance plans are controlled at the state level.
The idea of creating a national insurance market is not new — Republicans for years have touted interstate insurance plans. But they’ve received major push-back from groups like the…