ACA Sign When government lawyersdefended the measures as a bid to bolster the ACA, a judgequestioned whether that position squared with President DonaldTrump's stated intent to do away with his predecessor's signaturelegislative achievement. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Trump administration lawyers drew a skeptical response from afederal judge over a government initiative to let small businessesand individuals band together to create group health plans thatoffer cheaper coverage than Obamacare but without some of itsprotections.

During a hearing in Washington Thursday, a dozen Democraticstate attorneys general asked U.S. District Judge John Bates tostrike down U.S. Labor Department rules enabling association healthplans. So-called AHPs would leave people who have health insurancewith lesser or no coverage while increasing the need to policenewly created group plans for fraud, boosting costs for states, said MatthewGrieco, the attorney representing the plaintiffs.

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