Bill Maloney: Association health plans offer small businesses long overdue relief


It only took 14 years.

Back in 2004, when I was state chairman of West Virginia’s Association of Builders and Contractors, I worked closely with Sen. Robert Byrd’s office to try to expand association health plans, which allow small businesses to join together to negotiate lower health care costs.

Today, that goal is on the cusp of being realized. The Department of Labor is set to issue a new rule expanding association health plans, finally giving small businesses an attractive option to escape Obamacare’s perpetually rising costs.

President Donald Trump campaigned on allowing health care coverage to be sold across state lines. This reform will reduce health care costs because it will usher in far more supply options, reducing prices in the same way that interstate competition reduces prices in all other products and services. Last fall, he issued an executive order directing the Department of Labor to expand association health plans to make this longstanding dream a reality.

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