Trump unveils small business health plans

New rule is latest effort by Trump to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday unveiled its latest effort to undercut the nation’s universal healthcare law, making it cheaper for some small businesses to purchase health care plans.
The Department of Labor rolled out a new rule that allows small businesses and self-employed individuals to band together based on location or industry to purchase health care plans that skirt the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
The new rule allows for the groups to buy health insurance plans that do not meet comprehensive coverage requirements mandated by the act. It follows an executive order issued by Trump in October.
Trump has long targeted former President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law but has yet to offer a meaningful alternative while chipping away at it piece by piece.
“Many of our laws, particularly Obamacare, make health care coverage more expensive for small businesses than large companies,” Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said in a statement marking the rollout.
The plans, known as association health plans, “are about more choice, more access, and more coverage. The President’s decision helps working Americans – and their families – purchase quality, affordable health coverage”, he added.
On Monday, a bipartisan group of nine governors, including three Republicans, ripped the administration for its decision not to defend the Affordable Care Act in a lawsuit being brought by several states against the act’s mandate that health care insurers cannot deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
“The administration’s disappointing decision to no longer defend this provision of federal law threatens health care coverage for many in our states with pre-existing conditions and adds uncertainty and higher costs for Americans who purchase their own health insurance,” the governors wrote. “This is not right.”–AA

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