PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — President Donald Trump announced a new rule he says will make it cheaper for some Americans to buy health insurance.
Critics say the points people to buy insurance from the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace — which the administration is trying to eliminate.
Trump announced the expansion of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). The new rules allow employees to pay for the health insurance of their choice and be reimbursed by their employers tax-free.
“We are dramatically increasing the ability of Americans to access more affordable health insurance,” Trump said.
The Trump administration said expanding HRAs will increase competition among insurance companies, reduce healthcare costs and, most importantly, help small businesses provide employees with more choices for healthcare.
“An estimated 11 million Americans will now choose their own plans with the help of the HRAs,” Trump said.
Critics said the new rule encourages people to buy inexpensive health insurance plans which don’t cover things like pre-existing conditions.
Michael Feldman with the group Protect Our Care said there’s another problem.
“This is an incredibly hypocritical step,” Feldman said.
Feldman said the Trump administration’s plan provides money for people to buy health insurance from the Obamacare marketplace.
“But in reality, they’re also arguing in court that this entire marketplace should be disbanded,” he said.
The Trump administration is supporting a Texas lawsuit challenging Obamacare.
Feldman said if Obamacare is disbanded, this new HRA rule would be nullified.