- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday that President Trump’s executive order is simply “legalizing” an existing “freedom.”

“The difference is President Obama created programs by executive actions. This is just legalizing a freedom that’s in the First Amendment,” Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, said on Fox News.

Mr. Paul praised the president’s actions in allowing people to form assemblies and purchasing health care plans across state lines. Mr. Trump’s executive order will encourage people to take such actions and buy plans across state lines saying it will further lower health coverage costs. Officials say that the order will hopefully roll out in the next six months.

“It’s been available for previous presidents, Republicans and Democrats, to legalize this. The law of the 1970s is actually loosely worded and doesn’t appear to prevent people joining together in associations across state lines to get their insurance, and to use that leverage to get cheaper prices. And no administration has been bold enough in the past to actually look at the original law and say, hey guys I don’t think they meant to stop us from allowing association plans,” he said.

Mr. Paul pushed back against claims that this allowance would provide a lower quality coverage arguing that it’s the same plan many corporations in America currently have for their employees. He also said that if this is part of a future Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare he would likely support it.

“The only thing I wasn’t for was keeping Obamacare spending, and then just bloc granting it, and calling it a day,” he said.

David Boyer contributed to this report.

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