Federal Judge Upholds Trump Short-Term Health Plan Expansion

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A D.C. federal judge upheld Friday the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term health insurance, which offers Americans a more affordable alternative to high-cost Obamacare plans.

D.C. District Court Judge Richard Leon upheld Trump’s expansion of short-term health insurance plans, which are less expensive compared to Obamacare plans. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2018 expanded short-term plans to offer Americans more affordable options.

Short-terms plans cost less than Obamacare plans because federal statute does not require the insurance plans to comply with all of Obamacare’s onerous insurance regulations, thus they serve as a good alternative for many younger and healthier Americans.

The Trump administration’s rule allowed Americans to purchase short-term plans for up to 364 days and renew the plans for up to three years. The Barack Obama administration curbed these rules to encourage Americans to purchase Obamacare;

Several states such as Maryland, Delaware, California, and Washington have implemented rules to prohibit insurers from issuing short-term plans for longer than three months. Other states have also issued rules to block short-term plans’ renewability.

One study commissioned by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) found that short-term health insurance plans could cost 80 percent less than Obamacare “bronze” plans, which are the cheapest Obamacare plans.

When the president signed the executive order expanding Association Health Plans and short-term plans, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) praised the order as “the biggest free-market reform of health care in a generation.”

The Trump administration also recently expanded health reimbursement accounts (HRAs), which will help small and medium-sized businesses offer health insurance to their employees. The administration estimates that up to 800,000 employers, and more than 11 million workers and family members will benefit from the healthcare expansion.

Trump’s latest healthcare reform arises as he promised Republicans will become the party of “health care.”

The case is Association for Community Affiliated Plans et al. v. United States Department of Treasury, No. 1:18-cv-2133 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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