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Judge strikes down Trump's association health plan rule

President Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump. Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge struck down one of President Trump’s heath-care initiatives on Thursday, ruling that a provision allowing small businesses and individuals to band together to create group health plans "is clearly an end-run around" the Affordable Care Act. 

Why it matters: This is a victory for a coalition of almost a dozen Democratic state attorneys general seeking to block the association health plan policy the administration rolled out last year. It also comes after the Justice Department said in a court filing Monday that courts should strike down the entire Affordable Care Act, not just its protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

"Indeed, as the President directed, and the Secretary of Labor confirmed, the Final Rule was designed to expand access to AHPs in order to avoid the most stringent requirements of the ACA."
— U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington rules.