Paul Says Dem AGs Will Have Hard Time Explaining Association Health Plan Lawsuits

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Democratic attorneys general contemplating legal action against the Trump administration’s executive order on association health plans will lead to pushback from voters, according to GOP Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

The executive order, signed Thursday, allows small businesses and groups to pool together across state lines to purchase insurance plans. While proponents argue that it will expand options and drive down costs, critics say it’s a GOP attempt to dismantle Obamacare, and will reduce the quality of coverage.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said “they are prepared to fight in court” to reverse the administrative action. Paul said he’s not surprised by the threat of legal action, but remains confident they will have a difficult time overturning the executive order.

“I think in our country you always sue when you don’t like something — so somebody is going to sue, I’m sure,” he told reporters Thursday. “And if I had to guess it’s going to be a Democrat attorney general from a blue state, you know, and we looked at the original law and we think that the law allows for much more than this has heard in the past. So we think the law allows for a great deal of freedom to allow for associations, so we’ll just have to wait and see over time.”

Paul dismissed accusations that the executive order was constructed solely to undermine the Affordable Care Act, noting that he proposed the idea to 20 Democratic senators, none of which shut it down.

“I think the people who do sue will have to explain to their voters why they’re suing to prevent you in having a choice in what kind of insurance you can buy and to try and prevent you from buying inexpensive insurance,” Paul said. “I think that’s going to be a difficult explanation for voters.”

Collective bargaining for consumers is not “fundamentally Republican or Democrat,” Paul said, adding that if Republicans don’t “make Obamacare the central issue,” they could see bipartisan support in Congress.

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