Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., predicted Wednesday that President Trump would soon move on his own to make health insurance more affordable, after the Senate failed again this week to advance any bill to reform federal healthcare policy.
Paul said on MSNBC that he thinks Trump would move to reinterpret an existing law in order to make it easier for people to buy health insurance across state lines. That's a goal Republicans have had after since the passage of Obamacare in 2010.
"I think there's going to be big news from the White House in the next week or two, something they can do on their own," Paul said. "This is something I've been advocating for six months."
"I believe that President Trump can legalize on his own the ability of individuals to join a group or a health association across state lines and buy insurance," he added.
Paul he has been pitching the idea of using the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to let people buy insurance across state lines. That law already allows corporations to buy insurance across state lines for their workers if they are located in several states.
Paul's idea is to let individuals form associations and do the same thing, and he said Trump administration officials have been "enthusiastic" about the idea.
"It already exists," Paul said. "What I'm trying to do is let individuals get into that marketplace, and this would be an enormous benefit."
Paul said he believes Trump doesn't need to issue an executive order to get this done, and simply has to reinterpret the ERISA law. He said the new interpretation would only have to be more expansive when it comes to who is allowed to form an association under ERISA.
"If these individuals can join large groups across state lines, I think they'll get protection, less expensive insurance, and it'll be able to solve a lot of the problems we have in the individual market," he said. "I think President Trump's going to do this on his own."
Paul said lawmakers in both parties should like the idea.
"It costs zero dollars," he said. "I don't think people on the left are going to hate it."