New York, Massachusetts andVermont have already taken steps to defang the AHP strategy, andother states have indicated their opposition to the GOP strategy.(Image: Shutterstock)

Frustrated in their attempts to demolish in one fell swoop the Affordable Care Act, Republicanshave turned to a “one thousand small cuts” strategy to disable the act. Amongthe largest of those small cuts: expansion and promotion ofassociation health plans, or AHPs, via a WhiteHouse written rule. But if several state authorities have theirway, this cut, if not healed, may be wrapped in legal bandages.

Compared to the myriad other attacks, the AHP strategy offers morelong-term promise for undermining Obamacare. The TrumpAdministration has marketed the “skinny” plans as a solution for“the little guy”—meaning small business owners—to provide affordableinsurance to employers and small business owners themselves. Thekey to the affordability: Such plans don't have to meet the fullrequirements of the act.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.