Republicans introduce bill to bring back Trump-era rule expanding health care options

 July 1, 2024

Republicans in Congress will introduce legislation to bring back a Trump administration rule that expanded affordable healthcare options for self-employed people and small businesses.

The Trump rule made it easier for small businesses to group together under Association Health Plans (AHP).

AHPS do not have to follow all of the same requirements as Obamacare plans, making AHPs a cheaper alternative.

Biden rolls back affordable healthcare

The Biden administration repealed Trump's Department of Labor Rule in April, calling it an end-run around the Affordable Care Act and its "critical consumer protections." A federal judge reached a similar conclusion when striking down Trump's rule in 2019.

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mi.) will introduce legislation Tuesday to undo Biden's action.

"Biden has sought to undo a Trump-era rule, which both lowers health care costs and expands health care options for working Americans and small businesses. This is yet another example of Biden saying one thing but doing the other at the expense of the American people," he said.

Supporters of Trump's initiative say it expanded choice for consumers without access to subsidized health coverage. AHPS allow small businesses to group together and offer bulk rates like large companies do.

"The Trump-era AHP rule levels the playing field for small businesses who are allowed to band together to get similar bulk rates that large corporations enjoy," Walberg said. "Sadly, the Biden administration continues their illogical commitment to undoing Trump’s successful policies."

Freedom of choice

Democrats have explicitly attacked AHPs because they offer freedom of choice. They say AHPs incentivize healthier, low risk individuals to leave the ACA risk pool, driving up premiums for sicker individuals.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) hailed the Biden administration's move to roll back AHPs in April.

"AHPs may provide lower costs to some enrollees, but they do so by skimping on benefits and increasing costs for everybody else," he said.

“If healthy, low-risk individuals can leave the Affordable Care Act Marketplace risk pool, join a separate association, and pay lower rates, those who did not get into these plans will—on average—be forced to pay higher premiums."

As always, Democrats just want everyone on the government plantation. Why not let people choose what healthcare is best for them?

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