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 AcostaThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by National Association of Manufacturers — Whistleblower complaint roils Washington On The Money: Senate confirms Scalia as Labor chief | Bill with B in wall funding advanced over Democrats' objections | Lawyers reach deal to delay enforcement of NY tax return subpoena Sanders calls Eugene Scalia's Labor Dept. confirmation 'obscene' 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 John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day 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 McCainJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment Budowsky: Would John McCain back impeachment? 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.