Sen. Rand Paul Expects Trump, Acting Alone, to Allow Insurance Sales Across State Lines

By Susan Jones | September 19, 2017 | 10:40 AM EDT

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he believes President Trump, acting alone, will find a way to allow health insurance sales across state lines within the next week or two. (Screen grab from Fox News)

( – Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday dismissed the latest Republican health care bill as “just another big-government boondoggle.”

The Graham-Cassidy legislation introduced last week would basically send the taxpayer money now spent on Obamacare to the states as block grants, so the states could decide what health care systems work best for them.

Paul said the latest Senate bill is not repeal or replace.  He said it keeps most of the Obamacare taxes and regulations in place.

What I would do, and what I’ve been talking to President Trump about, is I think what we should do is allow people to buy across state lines through health care associations, and actually I think the president’s going to do this on his own within the next week or two, and I think this could help millions and millions of people get affordable insurance, and guess what -- it’s not a government program and it doesn’t cost any money.

This is what Republicans ought to get behind instead of a big government boondoggle of a trillion dollars in spending.

Paul explained that President Trump may offer a new interpretation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) in a way that allows health insurance to be sold across state lines.

(ERISA sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established pension and health plans in private industry to protect the people enrolled in those plans.)

Paul said a new interpretation of ERISA could allow everybody who works at McDonald’s restaurants, for example, to buy their insurance as one group. He said the insurance might be purchased through the National Restaurant Association, even if the employees work for different McDonald’s franchises in different parts of the country.

"If 15 million people could get together to buy their insurance, guess what, they’d get a cheaper price, they’d get protection against preexisting conditions -- I think they’d get most of the things they want,” Paul said.

“Most of the problems we face wouldn’t be fixed by a trillion-dollar government program like Graham-Cassidy, but would actually be fixed by the marketplace.”

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