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“A Threat to Many Millions”: Those Who Know Best Say Trump’s Junk Plans are the Worst

By October 9, 2018No Comments

On the eve of Senate Democrats work to force a vote to overturn Trump’s junk plans expansion, America’s leading health care providers and advocates filed amicus briefs in support of the plaintiffs who sued last month to block President Trump’s short-term, limited duration insurance (STLDI) “junk insurance” rule. The rule, which went into effect last week, would permit people to stay on junk plans that, among other problems, don’t cover people with pre-existing conditions for up to a year. Here’s what the medical experts said in their briefs:

American Medical Association And Seven Physician Organizations: Junk Plans “Will Be Devastating To The Health, Well-being, And Pocketbooks Of Millions Of Americans.”

“A key part of this mission is providing as many of their members’ patients as possible with affordable, meaningful health coverage. As courts have recognized again and again, this is the same goal as underpins the Affordable Care Act itself.3 The 2018 Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance (STLDI) Rule is antithetical to this shared goal. The Rule will be devastating to the health, well-being, and pocketbooks of millions of Americans—and disproportionately so for women, children, and the chronically ill…One need “not express any opinion on the wisdom of the Affordable Care Act” to recognize that allowing the 2018 STLDI Rule to go forward will sabotage the ACA’s crucial reforms.” [AMA et al., 10/5/18]

American Cancer Society And Other Patient Groups: “The Rule Poses A Very Real Threat To The Health Of Many Millions Of Americans.”

“As detailed below, the availability of affordable, accessible, and adequate health insurance is critical to health outcomes. The challenged rule, however, ensures that a greater number of individuals will purchase plans that deny coverage for, and thereby deny access to, critical treatments if and when they are needed, and that individuals with existing health conditions will incur greater expense in accessing the treatment they need. In so doing, the rule poses a very real threat to the health of many millions of Americans.” [American Cancer Society et al., 10/8/18]

AARP: If Not Enjoined, The STLDI Rule Will Return The Nation To A Pre-ACA Health Coverage Landscape—An Untenable Situation For Those Who Do Not Have Access To Coverage Through Their Employer Or Public Programs Such As Medicare And Medicaid.”

“If not enjoined, the STLDI rule will return the nation to a pre-ACA health coverage landscape—an untenable situation for those who do not have access to coverage through their employer or public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid…The STLDI Rule will also expand the reach of coverage that discriminates against older adults. Because STLDI issuers are not required to comply with the consumer protection provisions contained in the ACA, STLDI plans can deny coverage or charge higher premiums based on a person’s health or preexisting conditions. These insurers are also allowed to charge an older person significantly higher premiums based purely upon their age.” [AARP, 10/8/18]