With health care legislation stalled, President Trump on Wednesday told reporters at the White House that he plans to issue an executive order to allow health insurance to be purchased across state lines.
Selling insurance across state lines is an idea many Republicans have long supported, and could encourage the formation of interstate association health plans (AHPs), whereby membership groups could offer health insurance plans as a benefit of joining.
“I am considering an executive order on associations, and that will take care of a tremendous number of people with regard to health care,” Trump said. “It’s being finished now. It’s going to cover a lot of territory and a lot of people – millions of people.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been pushing the idea of allowing associations and chambers of commerce to band together to purchase insurance, and AHPs have also been supported by ASAE as a solution for the uninsured. Paul has said he expects the executive order to loosen restrictions under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which allows large companies to purchase insurance across state lines but doesn’t apply to most associations as of now.
Trump’s announcement came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pulled a vote on Republicans’ latest Obamacare repeal bill because he lacked the 50 votes needed to pass it. Trump said this week he now expects Republicans to pass health care legislation in early 2018.