WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) this week joined U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) and U.S. House Representative Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) who led Senate and House Democrats in unveiling a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would roll back the Affordable Care Act’s Section 1332 waiver rule, another Trump Administration effort to sabotage Americans’ health care and another attack on the 130 million Americans who rely on the critical pre-existing condition protections the administration is trying to eliminate.
The rule, if left in place, would allow states to greenlight substandard, junk insurance plans that don’t fully protect people with pre-existing conditions, don’t cover essential health benefits like prescription drugs and maternity coverage, and raise costs on many American families. Under the Congressional Review Act, this resolution must be considered within 60 legislative days of July 15 and can pass the Senate with the support of a simple majority of Senators.
“This new rule is the latest in a series of efforts by this administration to sabotage the American health care system,” said Murphy. “Far too many people in Connecticut are scared of going back to the days before the Affordable Care Act when insurance companies could jack up your rates or deny you coverage simply for having a pre-existing condition. If my Republicans colleagues care about helping people with pre-existing conditions then they will join us in voting for this resolution to get rid of this disastrous rule.”
“Junk plans lead to higher premiums and reduced access to quality care for millions, hurting seniors and those with preexisting conditions the most. This resolution will halt the Trump Administration’s efforts to expand these ineffective and incomplete plans that don’t even cover basic benefits like prescription drugs or mental health services,” said Blumenthal.
“It’s clear that the Trump Administration is determined to limit Americans’ access to health care and undermine protections for millions of people with pre-existing conditions,” said Warner. “The junk plans pushed forward by this Administration will inevitably disrupt our health care system, stripping basic coverage while increasing costs for Virginia families. Congress should protect coverage for vital services like prescription medicines, visits to the emergency room, and maternity care by overturning the Administration’s ill-advised plan to expand the use of junk plans. We have an opportunity here to send a message to the President that instead of attacking the Affordable Care Act, he must work with Congress on targeted, bipartisan fixes that will lower health care costs and expand access to comprehensive, affordable health care coverage.”
Joining Murphy, Blumenthal and Warner in cosponsoring this resolution are all 44 of their Senate Democratic colleagues: U.S. Seantors Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Angus King (I-Maine), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.).
The following organizations support the resolution: National Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Heart Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Mended Little Hearts, Hemophilia Federation of America, Chronic Disease Coalition, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, National Organization for Rare Disorders, WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, Susan G. Komen, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, COPD Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Hemophilia Foundation, Arthritis Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, National Psoriasis Foundation, Alpha-1 Foundation, ALS Association, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Immune Deficiency Foundation, March of Dimes, American Liver Foundation, National Health Council, National Patient Advocate Foundation, Protect Our Care, and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.