Though Congress failed this week in its last-minute scramble to pass another Obamacare replacement bill, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he plans to take matters into his own hands by signing an executive order on health care as early as next week.
What has Trump said about his plan?
"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 during a brief news conference.
"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," he told reporters. "It's being finished now. It's going to cover a lot of territory and a lot of people. Millions of people."
Has the White House given any clarification on the planned executive order?
Have any lawmakers given any clarification on the planned executive order?
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has proposed legislation similar to what Trump mentioned, elaborated further on what he believes Trump plans to do with an executive order.
"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," Paul said on MSNBC Wednesday. "This would bring enormous leverage to bringing down prices. It would also bring protection to individuals who feel left out, hung out to dry, basically."
Paul was opposed to the most recent failed replacement bill, the Graham-Cassidy proposal.
Has the president already met with Paul about his ideas?
Paul said Wednesday that he met with both the president and Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta about his proposal.
"They're enthusiastic about it, but I think Graham-Cassidy frankly distracted us. The good thing about my proposal, it costs zero dollars,” Paul said.
Paul added he believes the idea should get bipartisan support.
“I don't think people on the left are going to hate it. It basically is legalizing the ability of consumers to collectively come together to bargain for cheaper prices. We need to do this because the insurance companies have all the power — if you watched any of the debate recently over this, both left and right think insurance companies have too much power. How do we get power to the consumer? Let the consumer organize."
What are the experts saying?
“Health insurers already have the ability to sell insurance in multiple states as long as they comply with state consumer protection and licensing laws, which many already do. The NAIC has long been opposed to any attempt to reduce or pre-empt state authority or weaken consumer protections.” — Mike Consedine, CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners
"I do not believe that state insurance commissioners, nor state legislatures or governors, will look kindly to anything that would pre-empt our ability to protect our consumers.” — Al Redmer Jr., Maryland insurance commissioner
"My insurers here absolutely cringe when you talk about across-state sales.” — Mike Kreidler, Washington insurance commissioner