Trump clears way for ObamaCare 'alternatives' in new executive order, goes around stalled Congress


The White House announced Thursday that President Trump is taking executive action on health care as Congress stalls on efforts to overhaul ObamaCare, calling for a plan that could let employers band together and offer coverage across state lines.

The order aims to offer “alternatives” to ObamaCare plans and increase competition to bring down costs.

“The time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines, which will create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down and provide far better care,” Trump said in a statement.

He will sign the order Thursday morning.

According to officials, Trump will direct the secretary of Labor to consider expanding access to Association Health Plans, which could allow employers to form groups across state lines offering coverage. According to the White House, these plans could offer lower rates.

The order also calls on other federal agencies to consider expanding coverage in low-cost, short-term insurance plans not subject to ObamaCare rules.

Trump’s move is likely to encounter opposition from medical associations, consumer groups and even insurers — the same coalition that has blocked congressional Republicans. They say it would raise costs for the sick, while the lower-premium coverage for healthy people would come with significant gaps

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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