01/04/2018 04:11 EST | Updated 01/04/2018 04:20 EST

New health insurance rule aims to deliver on Trump promise

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is proposing regulations to facilitate the interstate sale of health insurance policies that cost less but may not cover as much.

But it's not immediately clear whether the new proposal from the Labor Department will fulfil President Donald Trump's long-standing promise to promote competition across the country.

The rule would make it easier for groups — or associations — to sponsor health plans that don't have to meet all consumer protection and benefit requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Those requirements improve coverage, but they also raise premiums.

Insurers are skeptical of Trump's idea. Patient groups are concerned about losing protections. And some state regulators object to federal interference.

There's another wrinkle: Health insurance, like real estate, reflects local costs, which vary widely.