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Health Care Experts and Patient Groups Support Senator Baldwin’s Legislation to Overturn the Trump Administration’s Expansion of Junk Insurance Plans

Top health care groups strongly support Baldwin’s resolution of disapproval 

Trump’s junk insurance plans don’t have to provide health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, 16 of the top health care organizations in America, representing tens of thousands of the nation’s physicians, patients, medical students and other health experts are voicing strong support for U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s legislation to overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of junk insurance plans.

Senator Baldwin’s effort is supported by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), American Heart Association, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, National Women’s Law Center, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American Osteopathic Association, American Psychiatric Association, Residential Eating Disorders Consortium, Protect Our Care and Families USA.

“Senator Baldwin’s effort is another avenue by which lawmakers can and should take action to protect health care coverage for cancer patients, survivors and all those with serious medical conditions,” said Chris Hansen, President of ACS CAN. “The final short-term health plan rule threatens to split the insurance market and weaken critical patient protections. These short-term plans will be able to charge people more for coverage based on their pre-existing conditions or deny them coverage outright. We urge Congress to support Senator Baldwin’s resolution and take immediate action to protect patients and the insurance market. Cancer patients and survivors must have access to high-quality, affordable insurance that provides comprehensive coverage, and ACS CAN stands ready to work with all lawmakers in this effort.”

“The Administration’s decision to expand short-term health plans will leave cancer patients and survivors with higher premiums and fewer insurance options. Even worse, people diagnosed with cancer while on a short term plan soon discover that these plans fail to cover even life-saving cancer treatments. If patients on short term plans can get access to cancer therapies at all, they will often be left with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society appreciates Senator Baldwin’s resolution to protect people with cancer and other pre-existing conditions by overturning the expansion of junk insurance plans,” said Gwen Nichols, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

“The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) applauds Senator Baldwin’s leadership in standing up for patients. Her work to overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term, limited duration insurance (STLDI) plans is critically important to all Americans,” said Lisa Hollier, MD, MPH, President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Ob-gyns see firsthand how inadequate coverage hurts our patients. These STLDI plans are full of holes, leaving patients uncovered if they have preexisting conditions or need maternity care. We urge policy makers to follow Senator Baldwin’s lead in protecting the health of mothers and babies. We must not turn back the clock on women’s health!”

“All children deserve access to health care coverage that meets their unique needs. Short-term, limited duration health plans do not meet this standard and expanding their availability could lead to higher costs, less services, denied coverage and limited access to appropriate providers. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges policymakers to expand access to quality and affordable health coverage, not create additional barriers to care that fall short for children and families,” said Mark Del Monte, JD, CEO/Executive Vice President (Interim) of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“ACP strongly opposes the administration's recent changes that would expand short-term, limited duration insurance (STLDI) plans. Expanding their use will erode essential patient protections, drive up premiums for consumers seeking coverage through the health insurance exchanges, and make quality care inaccessible for millions of Americans. ACP supports Senator Baldwin's resolution that attempts to reverse the administration's new rule and prevent the harm it would cause patients,” said Dr. Ana María López, MD, MPH, FACP, President of the American College of Physicians.

“Short-term, limited duration health plans provide no assurance that patients will have meaningful insurance. Because they don’t have to comply with Affordable Care Act requirements, these plans will be allowed to exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits; to vary premium rates by gender, health status, and age; and to potentially put individuals and families at significant financial risk. The American Academy of Family Physicians is working to safeguard Americans’ access to affordable, meaningful coverage and we welcome efforts to ensure the national health policy meets this goal,” said Michael Munger, MD, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

“Senator Baldwin and her colleagues are showing true leadership by working to stop President Trump’s expansion of junk insurance plans in its tracks,” said Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director of Protect Our Care. “If the GOP truly cared about protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions, they would join their colleagues on this resolution in taking concrete action to preserve the protections and essential health benefits that tens of millions of Americans depend on — and they would do so immediately.”

“The Trump Administration wants to turn back the clock on protections for health care consumers established by the Affordable Care Act. A new regulation finalized over the summer makes it legal to sell junk insurance under the guise of ‘short-term insurance.’ The regulation redefines ‘short-term’ plans so that they can last for up to a year and be renewed in future years,” said Shawn Gremminger, Senior Director of Federal Relations at Families USA. “Fully 90 percent of Americans support maintaining guaranteed coverage for people with preexisting conditions, yet these regulations allow insurance plans that can deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions; can charge higher premiums of any amount based on age, gender, medical history; and deny coverage essential benefits, including maternity care, prescription drugs, and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. Families USA is proud to support S.J.RES.63, which would protect America’s families by stopping this disastrous rule from going into effect.”

Congressional Review Act (CRA) disapproval resolutions that obtain the support of 30 Senators on a discharge petition force a vote on the Senate floor. Senator Baldwin has the support needed to file a discharge petition and force a vote under the CRA on her resolution to overturn the Trump Administration’s expansion of junk insurance plans. A simple majority vote in the Senate would pass the resolution and send it to the House of Representatives.

Baldwin’s resolution is cosponsored by 45 Senators including, Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Doug Jones (D-AL), Angus King (I-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Text of the resolution is available here.