LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul has promised this day was coming. Wednesday he announced that it would come today. Shortly before 11:30 am Thursday, President Donald Trump fulfilled the promise Senator Paul said was made to him. President Trump signed an Executive Order he says will open up options for those looking to buy health insurance policies across state lines.
Some have called this Executive Order the first real shot at demolishing the Affordable Care Act known as “Obamacare”. Those against the health care legislation celebrated this moment while critics accuse the President and Senator Paul of taking action that will negatively impact those who rely upon Obamacare. An action some suggest will destroy the system.
The Executive Order focuses on something Senator Paul has been pushing for a long time, it's been the focus of numerous town halls and roundtables forums that he's hosted in Kentucky. President Trump signed the order aimed at Association Healthcare Plans and allowing purchases across state lines. Senator Paul has often said association plans would free up the ability of small business owners to not only afford health insurance for themselves but for employees who may find themselves on Obamacare exchanges.
The Executive Order calls for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury to come up with a plan that would open up cross-state purchases and allow organizations such as Farm Bureau to open up membership across state lines allowing them to negotiate collectively for better prices.
Senator Paul called it the, "biggest free-market reform of health care in a generation".
"This reform, if it works and goes as planned, will allow millions of people to get insurance across state lines at an inexpensive price”, said Senator Paul. “Millions of people were left behind by Obamacare, do not have insurance today. This specifically targets and will help people who don't have insurance or people for whom insurance is too expensive. I'm very glad to be part of this. I really want to commend the President for having the boldness and the leadership and the foresight to get this done."
The Executive Order should also lengthen the time for which a person can have a "short-term" insurance policy. The Obama Administration shortened that allowance from 1 year to 3 months, this order should return that time to one year.
But some critics question whether the move will lead to the downfall of the Affordable Care Act by removing healthy subscribers on Obamacare exchanges and leading to higher healthcare costs for those on the exchanges.
Kentucky Democrat, 3rd District Congressman, John Yarmuth released a statement reading:
"With one signature, President Trump is now jeopardizing the health security of millions of Americans. The President's executive order calls for allowing insurance companies to build a huge market of junk plans, which will return us to the days where American families are one major illness or accident away from bankruptcy. Under these plans, insurers can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, meaning only people who are currently healthy will buy them. The end result will be that costs for everyone else will soar, and ultimately, insurance markets that provide real coverage with real protections will collapse. Welcome to Trumpcare."
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