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 TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' 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 McCainCummings to lie in state at the Capitol Elizabeth Warren should concern Donald Trump 'bigly' Lawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show 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.