Beshear and other Democratic AGs sue to block rule allowing ‘association health plans’ pushed by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul

Kentucky’s Andy Beshear is one of 12 Democratic attorneys general suing the federal government over its new rules allowing “association health plans,” a product long advocated by Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and recently approved by President Trump.

Paul argues that AHPs would make health insurance more affordable and accessible, but the Democrats say the administration’s rules allowing them would undermine “essential protections such as coverage of pre-existing conditions, newborn, maturity and pediatric services, substance abuse treatment and oral and vision care,” a Beshear press release said.

The attorneys general are asking a federal judge to reject a Department of Labor rule allowing AHPs for employers, on grounds that it redefines “employer” in a way that conflicts with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, generally known as Obamacare.

Beshear said, “If the rule allows spin-off employer association health groups that meet the ACA’s requirement of minimum essential health care coverage, then employees in these groups will lose their ability to garner federal tax credits.This will increase the cost of health care coverage for many Kentuckians.”

Dan Diamond of Politico notes, “In announcing the new rules last month, the administration said they would make it easier for small businesses to band together to purchase cheaper health insurance — and, not coincidentally, serve as a key part of the president’s strategy to destroy Obamacare. Today’s complaint puts that point in legal terms — from the opposite side.”

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