President Trump is preparing an executive order to allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines, a reform conservatives have long championed as a way to bring costs down and stir greater competition in the national marketplace.
The executive action gives the White House a chance to follow through on at least one promise related to healthcare reform after Senate Republicans' second attempt to overhaul Obamacare failed this week. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul first mentioned the action during a TV appearance Wednesday morning, saying Trump was considering taking matters into his own hands.
"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 told MSNBC, adding that Trump "can legalize on his own the ability of individuals to join a group or a health association across state lines and buy insurance."
A Senate GOP source told the Washington Examiner the executive action is considered "a done deal" and likely to be announced "in the next few weeks."
Trump later confirmed to reporters he is likely to issue an order permitting "people to go out across state lines, do lots of things, and buy their own healthcare."
The president described the forthcoming executive action as "very major," adding he also intends to spend the next few months negotiating with Democrats on a bipartisan healthcare bill.
Paul said he has discussed the proposal with the president and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta on "multiple occasions" while the Senate was focused on advancing the Graham-Cassidy bill, which was pulled from a vote on Tuesday.
White House spokesman Ninio Fetalvo said Trump wants to provide relief for Americans who have seen their premiums skyrocket or faced limited insurance options under Obamacare, citing Congress' failure to pass legislation that could otherwise solve such problems.
"The Senate has thus far failed to repeal and replace this disastrous law," Fetalvo said in an email to the Washington Examiner. "The President and his Administration are considering several actions to provide flexibility and relief to the many Americans who continue to suffer under Obamacare."