President Donald Trump today signed an executive order aimed at allowing trade associations and other groups to offer their own health plans - a move seen as expanding cheaper insurance options while also threatening to destabilize the Obamacare markets.

The order directs federal agencies to rewrite rules to allow the sale of so-called association health plans - which would be exempt from some of Obamacare's strict regulations - across state lines. Republicans have long championed the idea as a way to lower insurance costs and give people more options. But the plans could charge far less for a skimpier set of benefits, attracting healthier customers while potentially leaving Obamacare plans with higher-cost enrollees.

Trump will also direct the federal government to lift Obama-era limits on short-term insurance plans sold outside of the Obamacare markets. A third element of the order looks to expand a program allowing employers to set aside pre-tax dollars to help pay workers' insurance premiums.

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