Washington, D.C. – As time runs out to repair the severe damage President Trump has inflicted on health care markets and stabilize them in order to protect American families from crippling rate hikes and coverage losses, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement and the minimum policy prescriptions Republicans must include in any stabilization bill to roll back President Trump’s and the GOP’s sabotage of American health care:
“From the moment Donald Trump took the oath of office, his Administration and its Republican allies in Congress have waged an unrelenting war on our health care. In the last week, analyses have been published showing that Administrative sabotage through short-term junk plans will increase premiums eighteen percent and increase the number of uninsured by nine million people; sabotage through the expansion of association health plans will increase individual market premiums four percent and reduce enrollment in ACA plans by three million; and the sabotage campaign against the open enrollment period has eroded consumer confidence. Just yesterday, in fact, the Administration approved a Medicaid waiver from Arkansas designed to deny the most vulnerable health care coverage.
“Current Congressional Republican efforts to undo the damage they and President Trump have caused are wholly insufficient and rely on failed ideas like high risk pools which will leave Americans with higher costs and worse coverage. Make no mistake, impending rate hikes and coverage losses are the responsibility of Republicans and President Trump, and they are the ones who will pay the price with the public and at the polls if they don’t do what is necessary to reverse the damage. Any bill to stabilize the insurance marketplaces and reverse Republican-caused sabotage must:
- Expand affordability by increasing the value of premium tax credits and cost-sharing reduction protections;
- Ensure cost sharing protections fulfill their original purpose of improving affordability and Basic Health Plans are fully funded in order to protect coverage levels;
- Apply the consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act – such as guaranteed issue, community rating, protections for preexisting conditions – to short term duration plans and protect the essential health benefits from being undermined;
- Provide for a national meaningful reinsurance program that reduces current premium levels and stabilizes the market;
- Adequately fund outreach and enrollment efforts;
- Reject bringing back high-risk pools and Association Health Plans; two failed experiments that would have a destabilizing effect on the marketplace by incentivizing healthier individuals to leave the ACA compliant market, thereby negatively affecting the risk pool and increasing premiums; and
- Reject punitive and duplicative new anti-choice restrictions on health centers.
“Many of these provisions are included in the recent bills introduced in the Senate by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and in the House by Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Richard Neal (D-MA), and Bobby Scott (D-VA). If Republicans in Congress truly care about stabilization, they will work with Democrats to adopt these provisions and implement a bipartisan, common-sense package to lower premiums and expand coverage options. Anything else will be mere crocodile tears from elected officials more worried about partisan politics than Americans’ health.”