WASHINGTON, D.C. – In 2017 Liberty Leader Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) worked with President Donald Trump to allow for the expansion of ‘Association Health Plans’ in what was a big win for free market principles despite congress dithering on the repeal of Obamacare.
Basically, these health plans allow for business owners to pool their numbers geographically or by industry to increase their scale and thus lower the price of providing health insurance for employees and their families.
The executive order Trump signed opened the door for these plans, but Paul told First in Freedom Daily in an exclusive interview that it would take some time for the rules and plans to come together, maybe heading into 2019.
Well, today the U.S. Department of Labor announced an important step in creating Small Business Health Plans that could make a world of difference for purchasing power of millions of business owners and employees across the country.
“The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to expand the opportunity to offer employment-based health insurance to small businesses through Small Business Health Plans, also known as Association Health Plans.
Up to 11 million Americans working for small businesses/sole proprietors and their families lack employer-sponsored insurance. These 11 million Americans could find coverage under this proposal. Many small employers struggle to offer insurance because it is currently too expensive and cumbersome. These employees – and their families – would have an additional alternative through Small Business Health Plans (Association Health Plans). These plans would close the gap of uninsured without eliminating options available in the healthcare marketplace.”
Isn’t it amazing that such a simple allowance for free association could result in millions more with coverage without forcing others to subsidize them at the point of a gun? Gee, it’s almost as if the whole explosion in costs and access of the health insurance/health care market could be addressed with such free market principles?
Paul was quick to highlight the milestone on Twitter:
For the past year, I have worked with @realDonaldTrump to dramatically increase the availability of health care while at the same time decrease the costs. I applaud the admin for its action today, and I look forward to the finalization of the proposed rule https://t.co/7lHBxa9WzC
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 4, 2018
Though it is not set in stone yet, when this rule takes final affect it could change the way health insurance is purchased by the backbone of our country – small-business owners – saving them money and worry through a simple conservative solution to a problem created by arbitrary regulations passed by Big Government politicians.
“The proposed rule, which applies only to employer-sponsored health insurance, would allow employers to join together as a single group to purchase insurance in the large group market. These improvements stand to open health insurance coverage for millions of Americans and their families by making it more affordable for thousands of small businesses and sole proprietors. By joining together, employers may reduce administrative costs through economies of scale, strengthen their bargaining position to obtain more favorable deals, enhance their ability to self-insure, and offer a wider array of insurance options.
As proposed, the rule would:
- Allow employers to form a Small Business Health Plan on the basis of geography or industry. A plan could serve employers in a state, city, county, or a multi-state metro area, or it could serve all the businesses in a particular industry nationwide;
- Allow sole proprietors to join Small Business Health Plans, clearing a path to access health insurance for the millions of uninsured Americans who are sole proprietors or the family of sole proprietors.
The proposed rule includes important protections for Americans. Small Business Health Plans (Association Health Plans) cannot charge individuals higher premiums based on health factors or refuse to admit employees to a plan because of health factors. The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration will closely monitor these plans to protect consumers.”
After eight years of Obama’s socialization of health care, it sure feels good to moving in the right direction again. Repealing the individual mandate in the tax bill and allowing for Small Business Health Plans are two key wins for consumers and conservatives.
And we know how much Trump likes winning.