MURPHY, BLUMENTHAL, COLLEAGUES AIM TO BLOCK PRESIDENT TRUMP’S PLAN TO ALLOW INSURERS TO SELL JUNK PLANS WITH LEGISLATION TO GUARANTEE PROTECTIONS FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the Trump Administration’s recent proposed rule allowing insurance companies to sell expanded ‘junk’ health care plans, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) joined Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) in announcing new legislation to block the rule and guarantee protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“The Fair Care Act protects people with pre-existing conditions from the Trump administration’s proposal to allow short-term, junk health care plans that can cost a family a fortune,” said Blumenthal. “Without any safeguards, these health care plans will cause market instability and pose yet another barrier to real, quality, and affordable healthcare coverage. It’s time to put a stop to the Trump administration’s needless sabotage of our nation’s healthcare system.”

Murphy said, “The Trump administration’s newly proposed rule to expand junk health plans will allow insurance companies to charge sick people more than healthy people, and to flat-out deny coverage to people based on their medical history. Americans would be forced to deal with annual and lifetime limits but get worse care that often doesn’t include maternity care or mental health. This is a terrible rule that we will fight to block every step of the way.”

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.  

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. In Connecticut, premiums would go up by an average of 16.5% percent in 2019, and 69,000 more people in Connecticut would lack comprehensive health coverage in 2019 because they would either become uninsured or would be enrolled in junk plans that don’t provide key health benefits. 

The Fair Care Act is supported cosponsored by Families USA, American Heart Associaton, American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and is cosponsored by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Patty Murray (D-WA), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

More information on the Fair Care Act is available here.

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