Washington, DC – In response to the news that Idaho intends to allow insurance companies to sell plans excluding essential health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act and again allow companies to discriminate against pre-existing conditions, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“With this proposal, Governor Butch Otter has put partisan politics and fealty to the insurance industry above the interests of the people of Idaho. This proposal opens the door for insurance companies to once again charge premiums based on Idahoans’ medical history, returning to the days of discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions. It also waives the Affordable Care Act requirement that insurers must cover essential health benefits, which include maternity care, prescription drug coverage and hospitalization. These consumer protections are not only critical components of the Affordable Care Act, they are among its most popular provisions. Since Republicans began their war on health care, election result after election result has shown the American people don’t want more restrictions on their health care. This move is cruel, short-sighted and illegal. If newly-confirmed HHS Secretary Alex Azar cares about health of the American people, as he claimed during his confirmation hearing, he must block Idaho’s attack against the law of the land, the Affordable Care Act.”