08.29.18

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Introduces New Legislation to Overturn the Expansion of Junk Insurance Plans

30 Senators cosponsor resolution to force a Senate vote on Trump administration’s rule expanding junk insurance plans that don’t have to provide health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced new legislation to overturn the Trump administration’s final “junk insurance” plan rule. Senator Baldwin’s new resolution of disapproval is cosponsored by 30 Senators and would rescind the Trump administration’s rule expanding “junk insurance” plans that don’t have to provide health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

“The Trump Administration is rewriting the rules on guaranteed health care protections that millions of Americans depend on. They are moving forward on an expansion of junk insurance plans that can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and don’t have to cover essential services like prescription drugs, emergency room visits and maternity care,” said Senator Baldwin.

According to an analysis by the LA Times, “more than 98% — or 335 of 340 — of the healthcare groups that commented on the 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.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN) said it “poses a serious threat to cancer patients’ ability to access quality, affordable health coverage.” ACSCAN 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.”

“President Trump’s latest act of sabotage will expand junk insurance plans that could increase costs and reduce access to quality coverage for millions, force premium increases on older Americans, and harm people with pre-existing conditions. That’s why I am leading this effort in the U.S. Senate to take action and stop this sabotage. Instead of expanding junk insurance plans, we need to protect people’s access to quality, affordable care,” said Senator Baldwin.

Now that Senator Baldwin’s resolution has been introduced with 30 cosponsors, she has the support needed to file a discharge petition to force a vote under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) on her resolution to overturn the Trump Administration’s expansion of junk insurance plans. Congressional Review Act disapproval resolutions that obtain the support of 30 Senators on a discharge petition, and 218 members in the House, allow Congress to overturn regulatory actions taken by federal agencies with a simple majority vote in both chambers.

Senator Baldwin’s new resolution of disapproval is cosponsored by 30 Senators, including Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), 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) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Text of the resolution is available here.