WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump on Thursday took the first step towards dismantling the Affordable Care Act.

The president signed an executive order allowing Americans to buy insurance across state lines, and for small businesses to group together to purchase "association" health plans.

He says this will decrease costs and expand the number of coverage options.

"This will cost the U.S. government virtually nothing and people will have great great healthcare, and when I say people I mean by the millions and millions," Trump said.

Critics say President Trump's action will raise costs for the sick, and leave healthy Americans with more gaps in coverage.

Multiple attempts at repealing and replacing the Affordabel Care Act have failed in the Senate.

President Trump promises to keep pressure on Congressional Republicans to get rid of the Obama-era law "once and for all."