President Trump will today legalize and allow individuals to form Health Associations and purchase insurance across state lines. This is what real free market replacement looks like. Millions of Americans will be eligible to band together to demand less-expensive insurance. The 28 million individuals left behind by Obamacare will now be eligible for inexpensive insurance. The cost to the taxpayer? ZERO! As opposed to the trillion-dollar, “fake” replacements we voted on, this replacement simply legalizes choice. I’ve been working with President Trump and his Cabinet for months to get this done. How will it work? Well, nationwide associations like the National Restaurant Association will be allowed to form groups across state lines and, with the leverage of size, demand Big Insurance bring down their outrageous premiums. Many of the 28 million people left behind by Obamacare who still don’t have insurance work low-wage jobs in our fast food restaurants. The President’s decision today will allow workers from two million restaurants to come together to form a buying group and through sheer size get cheaper and better insurance. Millions of people will be eligible for the same group insurance that big corporations offer. In fact, Health Associations may grow to be larger than the largest of our corporations. Currently, about half of private insurance is cross-state, self-insured ERISA plans, and most employees love them. The President’s action today will allow the millions of people in the individual market an escape route to group insurance. Association Health Plans will be among the biggest free-market reforms of health care in a generation, and it will do more to counter the impact of Obamacare than most of the repeal bills did, because it will actually go after regulations that the legislation didn’t touch due to Senate rules. Existing law allows the President to legalize these new groups and plans. Where previous administrations have been weak, President Trump is bold to allow this reform. All group insurance guarantees access regardless of pre-existing conditions. But what is great about cross-state Health Associations is that they will be exempt from some Obamacare and State regulations. This exemption from regulations is why cross-state group insurance has seen the lowest rise in premiums of any health insurance available. The regulators, and hand-wringers, will worry that Health Associations will lead to the least common denominator and simply high-deductible, bare-bones policy. The opposite might occur. We do know that the large group, cross-state ERISA plans out there currently run the gamut and, in fact, often are the most desirable plans available. Million-person Health Associations will have enormous leverage to get better prices for consumers – that’s exactly why Big Insurance opposes them. Most of the “fake” replacements offered don’t fix the individual market; they simply keep in place Obamacare’s subsidies for the individual market. My hope is that cross-state Health Associations will allow so many people to flee the individual market that subsidies will no longer be necessary. It will take 6 months to a year to begin seeing the benefits of Health Associations. I want to thank President Trump for taking this bold step forward. As Health Associations form, the death spiral of Obamacare will continue. While we should and will keep fighting for repeal through Congress, I’m excited to have worked with President Trump on a free market reform that can begin to fix many of the problems Obamacare created. Congress may have failed to act – but President Trump and I haven’t. We’ve been working on this behind the scenes. So what does that mean for you, the healthcare consumer? Well, first of all, it means millions of people who now go it alone or in very small groups will join together and make the CONSUMER THE KING, with increased bargaining power and better prices. You will be able to choose among better and cheaper insurance that works for you – something Obamacare made illegal. You will be able to buy across state lines, opening up competition for the best plans. Many Obamacare regulations will be waived for those in these groups, including costly mandates on what the plans must cover. Best of all, this isn’t a government mandate. It isn’t a subsidy. It isn’t a tax. Rather, it is the removal of government regulation and barriers to the best possible health care for millions of people. As a career physician, I know Obamacare is broken and must be repealed. I will keep fighting for this. But I also know health care was broken before Obamacare, and we should take every opportunity to fix what we can. That’s what President Trump is doing this week, and I’m proud to have worked with him on this important health care reform.