President Donald Trump is getting ready to issue an executive order that could let people buy health insurance across state lines.

Trump talked about that possibility Wednesday, during a press conference at the White House.

Many health insurers already operate in multiple states, but they have to get plans licensed in each plan in which they operate. Interstate health insurance sales proposals have come to be known as “association health plan” proposals, because many supporters of the concept would implement it by letting multi-state associations set up and run the multi-state plans.

“I am considering an executive order on associations, and that will take care of a tremendous number of people with regard to health care,” Trump said, according to a press conference transcript posted by the White House. “And I’ll probably be signing a very major executive order where people can go out, cross state lines, do lots of things, and buy their own health care.”

(Related: Trump Takes on State Insurance Regulators)

The executive order is “being finished now,” and “that will be probably signed next week,” Trump said. 

Many business groups and some health insurance agents and brokers have been promoting interstate health insurance proposals for years.

Many consumer groups and state insurance regulators have opposed the proposals, arguing that they would cause the healthiest people to flock to plans from the states with the weakest consumer protections, and drive up the cost of coverage in the states with tougher rules for health insurers.

Trump did not talk about the mechanics of how the administration could permit interstate health coverage sales through an executive order.

Trump also said he will negotiate with Democrats to see if it’s possible to come up with a bipartisan bill, but that he believes that, by January or February, Republicans will have the votes to pass a bill based on the proposals Republicans have been debating in the Senate in recent weeks.

“I feel we have the votes,” Trump said. “I’m almost certain we have the votes…. We’ll vote in January, February or March.” 

— Read ACA: Lawmakers Take New Look at Interstate Health Sales on ThinkAdvisor.


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