ACA Sign When government lawyers defended the measures as a bid to bolster the ACA, a judge questioned whether that position squared with President Donald Trump’s stated intent to do away with his predecessor’s signature legislative achievement. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Trump administration lawyers drew a skeptical response from a federal judge over a government initiative to let small businesses and individuals band together to create group health plans that offer cheaper coverage than Obamacare but without some of its protections.

During a hearing in Washington Thursday, a dozen Democratic state attorneys general asked U.S. District Judge John Bates to strike down U.S. Labor Department rules enabling association health plans. So-called AHPs would leave people who have health insurance with lesser or no coverage while increasing the need to police newly created group plans for fraud, boosting costs for states, said Matthew Grieco, the attorney representing the plaintiffs.

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