U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Introduce Legislation to Counter Trump Administration’s Health Care Sabotage That Will Spike 2020 Out-of-Pocket Costs

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin helped introduce the Fair Indexing for Health Care Affordability Act – legislation to reverse the Trump administration’s recent rule change that would make fewer Americans eligible for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) premium tax credits, and cause those who are eligible to receive less in tax credit support. The legislation is led by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) and cosponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

Earlier this year, the Trump administration changed the index by which eligibility for the ACA’s premium tax credits and maximum out-of-pocket limits are set, resulting in a 2.5 percent increase in the maximum out-of-pocket limit in 2020 compared to where out-of-pocket limits would have been under the old indexing factor. This change results in a $200 increase in the cap on out-of-pocket costs for individuals, and a $400 per year increase for families.

“President Trump has spent more than two years working to sabotage our health system and Senate Republicans have let him. As a result, there are more Americans uninsured today than when President Trump took office,” said Senator Baldwin. “We want to protect and expand access to quality health care coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act. We want to make sure Americans have better access to quality health care plans at a price they can afford. This reform would do just that.”

In April, the Trump administration finalized a regulatory adjustment that, beginning for Plan Year 2020, will change the indexing factor that is used to determine eligibility for the ACA’s premium tax credits and calculate the maximum out-of-pocket limit that health plans can set each year. This rule change replaces an indexing factor that is based on premium growth from employer-based plans with a new indexing factor that is based on premium growth across all private plans. These increases in premiums and out-of-pocket costs could result in up to 70,000 fewer enrollees in ACA coverage each year.

Senator Baldwin has been leading the fight in the Senate against the Trump administration’s health care sabotage. Her No Junk Plans Act would overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of junk insurance plans that don’t have to cover people with pre-existing health conditions, and don’t have to cover essential Affordable Care Act health care like prescription drugs, emergency room visits, and maternity care.

Senator Baldwin’s ENROLL Act would restore funding for the Navigator program that helps American families get the information and support they need to find a quality health care plan at a price they can afford. Since President Trump took office, his administration has slashed federal funding for the Navigator program by 84 percent. Trusted Navigator programs like those in Wisconsin have had their funding cut by nearly 75 percent since 2017, meaning fewer people in Wisconsin have received the support they need to obtain affordable coverage.