Feinstein Joins Efforts to Block President Trump’s Plan to Allow Insurers to Sell Junk Plans with Legislation to Guarantee Protections for Pre-existing Conditions
Mar 05 2018
Washington – Following the Trump Administration’s recent proposed rule allowing insurance companies to once again sell ‘junk’ health care plans, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Sen. Tammy Baldwin's (D-Wis.) new legislation to block the rule and guarantee protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
First reported in Vox, the Fair Care Act would prevent greater access to short-term, junk plans, safeguard current protections for those with pre-existing conditions and help prevent further premium increases and insurance market instability caused by the Trump Administration’s sabotage. The legislation would prohibit Trump’s proposed rule expanding access to short-term, limited duration plans from taking effect and would implement protections to ensure that short-term plans are only offered in limited circumstances as well as newly require these plans to comply with basic consumer protections.
“While lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have been on record objecting to any elimination of protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, the administration’s proposal to extend short-term health insurance plans that are inadequate for someone diagnosed with a serious illness such as cancer would reintroduce discrimination based on health history,” said Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “The proposed legislation from Senator Baldwin would work to ensure health insurance products that are only intended as a short-term bridge aren’t permitted to replace longer term coverage without meeting minimum standards. Without important guardrails, proliferation of substandard coverage could lead to tremendous market instability and reinstate barriers to affordable, meaningful coverage that includes cancer prevention, treatment and follow-up care.”
“The Administration’s proposed changes to short-term limited duration plans will hurt Americans who have a pre-existing condition, including those with lung disease and lung cancer,” said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “We thank Senator Baldwin for her leadership in introducing the Fair Care Act and for fighting to protect patients who have pre-existing conditions.”
“The Trump administration’s cynical proposal twisting the definition of “short-term plans” seriously jeopardizes the ability of older Americans and people who have been sick to find affordable, quality health insurance. It also opens-up the door for insurance company tricks that just a few years ago left consumers with astronomical out of pocket costs and caused thousands of families to declare bankruptcy when they got sick,” said Frederick Isasi, Executive Director, Families USA. “We applaud Senator Baldwin for her leadership in introducing legislation to protect families from the Trump administration’s back-door regulatory attacks. Families deserve peace of mind that their insurance coverage will be there for them when they need it most, including offering real coverage and financial protections. We look forward to working with Senator Baldwin to advance this critical legislation for families across our nation.”
The Urban Institute recently found that both expanding access to short-term plans, as well as the actions that President Trump and Congressional Republicans have taken to date to sabotage the health care system would increase premiums and result in more uninsured Americans.
The Fair Care Act i is also cosponsored by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and is supported by Families USA, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network,.
More information on the Fair Care Act is available here.