President Trump today issued an executive order directing the departments of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services to consider proposing regulations or guidance to expand the availability of association health plans, short-term limited duration insurance and health reimbursement arrangements. “Patients depend on comprehensive health insurance to access and afford the care they need, including services provided by America’s hospitals and health systems,” commented AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. “Today’s Executive Order will allow health insurance plans that cover fewer benefits and offer fewer consumer protections. No one can predict future health care needs with complete certainty and such plans could put patients at risk when care is needed most. In addition, these provisions could destabilize the individual and small group markets, leaving millions of Americans who need comprehensive coverage to manage chronic and other pre-existing conditions, as well as protection against unforeseen illness and injury, without affordable options. And, regarding consolidation, respected economic studies demonstrate that the hospital field's trajectory has resulted in both cost savings and quality improvements for the patients we serve. The AHA is committed to ensuring that individuals and small businesses have affordable, comprehensive health care coverage options, and we encourage the Administration to achieve this goal without sacrificing critical consumer protections by stabilizing the individual and small group markets.”