President Donald Trump signed an executive order on the morning of Oct. 12 to ease rules on small businesses buying health insurance. With Congress failing to act on Republican promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Trump will make the unilateral move to reconfigure federal regulations.
The executive order will allow the Department of Labor to ease rules for businesses in the same state to band together to create association health plans. President Trump claims the order will increase competition.
"I will be signing something probably this week which is going to go a long way to take care of people that have been so badly hurt on healthcare," Trump said Tuesday ahead of a meeting with Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state. "They will be able to buy across state lines. They will get great competitive healthcare and it will cost the United States nothing."
Critics, however, claim the move could be disastrous, arguing the removal of consumer protections created by the ACA could lead to a death spiral as younger, healthier individuals leave the ACA markets.
"Within a year, this would kill the market," said Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, to POLITICO.