Trump official: Alternative to ObamaCare plans likely this summer

The Trump administration hopes to move forward with a rule expanding alternatives to ObamaCare plans by this summer, Secretary of Labor Alex AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaOn The Money: Trump slams relief bill, calls on Congress to increase stimulus money | Biden faces new critical deadlines after relief package | Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling Federal litigator files complaint alleging Labor secretary abused his authority MORE said Monday.

The rule allows for small businesses and self-employed individuals to band together to buy insurance as a group in what are known as association health plans.

“We hope to have that by this summer,” Acosta said Monday during a tax reform event alongside President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE in Florida.

“It’s going to be incredible. You’re going to get tremendous insurance at a very low cost,” Trump added.

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Expanding these plans is part of the Trump administration’s strategy to open up skimpier, cheaper alternatives to ObamaCare plans.  

Democrats, as well as the main health insurer trade group, warn that the rule, along with a similar initiative to open up short-term health plans, could siphon healthy people away from ObamaCare plans, spiking premiums for those remaining.

A proposed rule on the issue was released in January.

Trump in his comments on Monday referenced Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 'The View' plans series of conservative women as temporary McCain replacements MORE’s (R-Ariz.) vote against ObamaCare repeal last year.

“But it’s all right because Alex Acosta has come up, and this is a plan that a lot of people have wanted for a long time, associations, and we’re going to have tremendous signups,” he said, without naming McCain.