Twelve Attorneys General Sue to Block Association Health Plans

Published September 3, 2018

The suit is being led by New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. The others participating in the suit are the attorneys general of California, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Calling the new rule “an unlawful end run” around the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a “continued effort to sabotage our health care system,” the AGs are asking the court to vacate the rule on the grounds the U.S. Department of Labor violated the Administrative Procedures Act, ACA, and Employment Retirement Income Security Act in issuing the rule.

President Donald Trump, in a speech before the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in June, said the proposed new rule would allow small businesses to “escape some of Obamacare’s most burdensome mandates” and promised association health plans would be less expensive and provide better coverage.

Betsy McCaughey, former Lt. Governor of the state of New York and a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, said the suit is nothing but a waste of taxpayer dollars being used to grandstand for Democrat voters.

“This suit is a meritless political ploy,” McCaughey said. “The victims are the taxpayers who are footing the bill for these legal hijinks while consumers continue to be told they’re too stupid to know which health coverage benefits they need or want.”

Association health plans are scheduled to become available in September and are billed as a cheaper alternative to ACA exchange plans. The Trump administration said in June the plans will help lower insurance costs and increase access for those who have difficulty finding affordable insurance under Obamacare.