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 AcostaRene (Alex) Alexander AcostaHow private sector can fight opioid epidemic Federal mine safety official accused Trump of illegally putting miners in danger Here are the administration officials who have denied they wrote the anonymous NYT op-ed 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 TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser 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 McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ 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.