The latest Obamacare reform bill failed to make it to a vote in the Senate this week. After Republican Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and others – including Susan Collins and John McCain – announced they wouldn’t be supporting the bill, it has been left for dead. But that doesn’t mean that all health care reform is over.
The Kentucky Senator appeared on Fox & Friends shortly after the legislation’s demise was announced to discuss what’s next. Paul said that President Trump “assured” him that the administration would legalize selling health insurance across state lines.
In addition, he said, the president would also legalize one of Rand Paul’s most well-known reforms: Healthcare associations.
Rand Paul says selling healthcare insurance reform is coming
When various versions of Obamacare repeal were floating around during the summer, Rand Paul put out a brief on how he would change the law to allow for healthcare associations:
a. The bill currently allows for self-employed individuals to participate in small business health plans. However, I would suggest that the language be changed to allow any individual, including self-employed individuals, to form associations for the purpose of purchasing group health insurance.
b. Furthermore, I would suggest that small business plans or association health plans be allowed to self-insure like other large employer groups are able to do under ERISA. Self-insurance provides significant flexibilities to create innovative plan designs free from many mandates.
c. Finally, I believe we have an opportunity to completely free the group market from unnecessary ACA regulations, and restore HIPAA and ERISA regulation over the entire group market, including for association health plans.
These assurances that Rand Paul said he had been given by Trump sound promising. But it’s hard to say whether or not there will actually be follow-through.
Trump has recently taken up tax reform as his cause du jour, and the new issue has taken precedence for the Republicans at large.
Also: What authority does the president have to legalize the selling of health insurance across state lines, or to allow healthcare associations? Paul claims that such authority exists.
(Image of Rand Paul on Fox & Friends via screenshot.)