WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin led her Democratic colleagues in announcing plans to introduce new legislation – in accordance with the Congressional Review Act – to overturn the Trump administration’s final “junk insurance” plan rule that would eliminate guaranteed protections for people with pre-existing conditions. According to experts, the administration’s new rule would raise premiums and reduce plan choices for individuals with pre-existing conditions and employees in the regular insurance market and put insurance companies back in charge, allowing them to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or refuse to cover essential health care.
“We cannot let the Trump Administration rewrite the rules on the guaranteed health care protections that people depend on because no family should be forced to choose between helping a loved one get better or going bankrupt,” said Senator Baldwin. “These junk plans don’t have to cover prescription drugs, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, maternity care, and people with pre-existing conditions. Instead of expanding junk insurance plans that would take away this coverage and protections for people with pre-existing conditions, we need to protect Wisconsin’s access to quality, affordable care. That’s why the Senate should take action and stop this Trump sabotage from taking effect.”
Senator Baldwin’s new resolution of disapproval would rescind the Trump administration’s rule and maintain these vital health care protections that Republicans in Congress and the administration are attempting to eliminate. Congressional Review Act (CRA) disapproval resolutions allow Congress to overturn regulatory actions taken by federal agencies with a simple majority vote in both chambers. In accordance with the Congressional Review Act, the Senators will formally introduce the resolution after the rule is submitted to both houses of Congress and published in the federal register and then force a vote within 60 legislative days.
Earlier this year, Senate Democrats successfully passed a disapproval resolution under the CRA to protect net neutrality with bipartisan support.
According to the LA Times, “more than 98% — or 335 of 340 — of the health care groups that commented on the [Trump administration’s] proposal to loosen restrictions on short-term health plans criticized it, in many cases warning that the rule could gravely hurt sick patients.” This included patient and consumer advocates, physician groups, nursing associations, hospital groups, medical providers, insurance companies and more. Additionally, after the administration announced the final rule yesterday, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said the plan “has the potential to harm consumers, both by making comprehensive coverage more expensive and by leaving some consumers unaware of the risks of these policies”, while the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ASCAN) said it “poses a serious threat to cancer patients’ ability to access quality, affordable health coverage.” ACCSAN also said the Trump administration’s rule “will likely leave older and sicker Americans in the individual insurance marketplace with few, if any, affordable health coverage choices” and that “patients living with serious conditions will be left paying more for the coverage they need if they can afford coverage at all.”