President Donald Trump falsely claimed during a health care meeting in Peosta, Iowa, that his new Association Health Care Plans (AHP) are doing “record business” even though they plans do not start until September 1:
[Secretary of Labor] Alex Acosta has come up with incredible health care plans through the Department of Labor, association plans, where you associate, where you have groups, and you go out and get tremendous health care at a very small cost.
It is across state lines. You can compete all over the country, they compete, they want to get it.
And Alex, I hear it’s like record business that they’re doing. We just opened about two months ago and I’m hearing that the numbers are incredible, the numbers of people that are getting really, really good health care, instead of Obamacare, which is a disaster.
Trump failed to mention that AHP plans will not have the same protections for people like the Affordable Care Act, such as the rule that all health care plans cover mental health and emergency services.
The New York Times noted in 2017 how sub-standard association plans were dangerous for consumers before Obamacare:
The association plans, in particular, would make small businesses and self-employed individuals more vulnerable to policies that would leave them unprotected.
State regulators cracked down after some of these plans became insolvent.
Four associations in the early 2000s left their customers with nearly $50 million in unpaid medical bills, according to researchers in an overview of the plans’ history published in the journal Health Affairs.