Oct 9, 2017

Trump to expand access to cheaper, short-term health plans

Trump at the White House in September. Photo: Alex Brandon / AP

President Trump will issue a new executive order this week rolling back a handful of Obama-era health care policies and expanding access to cheaper, less comprehensive insurance plans, The Wall Street Journal reports.

What it means: Association health plans and short-term insurance function similarly: They create lower-cost, less comprehensive options that are most likely to appeal to healthy people.

The details of the order, according to WSJ, are that it will:

  • Direct federal agencies to expand access to association health plans, which would be exempt from many of the Affordable Care Act's coverage requirements.
  • Expand access to short-term health plans, which also cover a more limited set of benefits, with a lower premium. President Obama limited those plans to 90 days; Trump will likely allow people to buy them for up to a year.
  • Allow consumers to use tax-preferred health savings accounts to pay their premiums.

The fear — among Democrats as well as insurance companies — is that those healthier consumers would choose these new plans and leave only sicker, more expensive consumers buying comprehensive coverage through the ACA's exchanges. If that happens, expect insurers to raise their rates or look for the exit.

Go deeper

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

The scene near the 5th police precinct during a demonstration calling for justice for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Saturday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities over Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters and police clash nationwide over George Floyd

A firework explodes behind a line of police officers next to the Colorado State Capitol during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Denver on May 30. Photo : Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd continued nationwide into early Sunday.

The big picture: Police responded over the weekend with force, in cities ranging from Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., Denver and Louisville. Large crowds gathered in Minneapolis on Saturday for the fifth day in a row.