EBG Commentary

Stuart Gerson Quoted in “Trump Signs Executive Order to Relax Health Insurance Rules”

Modern Healthcare

Stuart M. Gerson, a Member of the Firm in the Litigation and Health Care & Life Sciences practices, in the firm’s Washington, DC, and New York offices, was quoted in “Trump Signs Executive Order to Relax Health Insurance Rules,” by Harris Meyer. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday morning aiming to give consumers access to cheaper, skimpier health plans by easing some policy restrictions.

The order directs the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and HHS to consider expanding coverage through low-cost, short-term health plans that are exempt from Affordable Care Act insurance market rules.

Such plans presumably would not have to comply with ACA requirements that plans cover 10 categories of minimum essential benefits or accept all applicants at the same rates without regard to pre-existing medical conditions.

The order apparently would allow individuals to buy such short-term plans lasting up to 364 days. Obama administration rules limited the duration of short-term plans to 90 days. …

Health law experts questioned whether Trump’s executive order easing the ACA’s statutory insurance market rules would withstand legal scrutiny, and predicted legal challenges.

“Many commentators including me think the law should be changed to foster competition across state lines,” said Stuart Gerson, a former top Justice Department official in the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations who’s now a partner at Epstein Becker & Green. “But I don’t think you can solve this problem without changing the law. It has to be done by statute, not regulation.”