On March 29, A U.S. district judge in Washington, DC issued a ruling blocking the sale of association health plans (AHPs), plans that allow small businesses to join together and offer members more affordable health insurance. The judge’s rationale for the ruling was overtly political, specifically stating that making the plans available was “clearly an end-run around the ACA.”
Well, yes. That’s the point. What the judge misses is that this end-run benefits people seeking affordable, catastrophic health insurance. Going around the ACA, in other words, is the goal.
But it’s not surprising the ruling was blatantly political since Trump’s much-maligned approach to health care appears to be working and those are bad optics for people selling even more aggressive government-run health care like Medicare For All.
And it’s a tough battle for single-payer supporters. A recent report on association health plans (AHPs) from AssociationHealthPlans.com shows that the Trump administration’s regulatory changes are working and have led to cost savings for consumers. AHPs are also trending toward offering comprehensive benefits. Joseph Antos, a health care policy expert with Washington DC’s American Enterprise Institute (AEI), has been observing these trends in the wake of the Trump’s regulatory changes and joins Sarah Lee, a health care policy advisor to The Heartland Institute and RedState front page contributor, to talk about what’s working and how the market is positively responding to those changes. Antos also talks about what should happen in the marketplace going forward to ensure consumers aren’t negatively affected as the country transitions away from Obamacare and fights off emerging single-payer legislation.