U.S. Congressman James Comer says he supports President Donald Trump’s executive order on Thursday intended to expand options for people seeking health insurance.
Comer, the Republican Congressman from Kentucky's First District, said he supports the President's effort through the order to make insurance more affordable for working class Americans who have for too long struggled to pay for healthcare due to Obamacare-induced burdens.
Republican lawmakers have failed efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act - also known as Obamacare. Trump has blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not passing legislation. And he has said he'd take matters into his own hands if Congress failed to act.
Trump's order, championed by Senator Rand Paul, allows groups of employers to band together to offer insurance and able to purchase coverage across state lines at lower costs, through what are called 'association health plans.'
NPR reports the order may offer cheaper options for younger and healthier customers, but could drive up prices for those with pre-existing conditions. While the ACA expanded healthcare for millions, critics say it has resulted in fewer private options and higher premiums.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the only private health insurance provider in the west Kentucky region. Company officials said last month they would reduce their coverage area in the commonwealth due to "market place uncertainties."
Comer has said of the ACA that too many people are on Medicaid (which the ACA expanded), that there aren’t enough private options and that people can’t afford rising premiums. He has stated is position numerous times at town hall meetings across the region.
Kentucky’s lone Democrat in Congress, John Yarmuth, said in a statement on Thursday that the act will ‘jeopardize’ the health security of millions by offering “junk plans” that will “deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions” and result in ‘soaring’ costs for everyone.
Congressman Comer’s Full Statement:
"I support President Trump's efforts to make insurance more affordable for working class Americans through his Executive Order. For far too long, many Americans have struggled to pay for their health care because of the burdens Obamacare placed on them."