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 AcostaBarr removes prisons chief after Epstein death Feds face mounting pressure over Epstein's death Sasse calls on DOJ to 'rip up' Epstein nonprosecution deal to bring 'co-conspirators to justice' 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 TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump 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 McCain3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Fighter pilot vs. astronaut match-up in Arizona could determine control of Senate The Hill's Morning Report — Recession fears climb and markets dive — now what? 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.