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SHOCKER: Senate Republicans Block Resolution to Protect People with Pre-existing Conditions from Trump’s Junk Plans Rule

By October 10, 2018No Comments

“Now it’s clear once and for all where the Senate Republicans who have feigned to care for people with pre-existing conditions actually stand,” said Brad Woodhouse

Washington, D.C. – Following Senate Republicans blocking Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)’s discharge petition to force a vote on her resolution to block insurers from selling the Trump Administration’s short-term, junk insurance plans, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“Wait. Republicans who voted to eliminate pre-existing conditions protections, upend our health care system, slash Medicare and Medicaid – all while working to pass record-breaking tax cuts for insurance companies and the wealthy – don’t actually support protections for people with pre-existing conditions? Color me shocked. The failure of Senate Republicans to step up and stand up against the Trump Administration’s attack on pre-existing conditions protections with these junk plans should make it clear once and for all where the Senate Republicans who have feigned to care for people with pre-existing conditions actually stand.”

These Senate Republicans Who Professed Support for Pre-existing Conditions Protections Have Made Crystal Clear Where they Stand:

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV): May 2017: Heller: “We Need Assurances That People With Pre-Existing Conditions Will Be Protected.” [The Hill, 5/4/18]

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ): “The last thing we need to happen is to have people who have coverage now, to have that coverage that coverage yanked out from under them. Every plan that has been put forward that I will support continues to support those with pre-existing conditions having continued coverage. That’s important.” [Town Hall, 12:40-13:10, 4/13/2017]

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): “There Are A Lot Of Consensus In Washington That The One Issue You Brought Up — Pre-Existing Conditions — Should Not Be Changed.” [Politico, 2/27/17]

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE): “I haven’t heard anybody say that they want to get rid of pre-existing conditions.” [Omaha World Herald, 6/18/18]

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD): We Did Not Intend To Remove Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions When We Repealed The Individual Mandate.  [Talking Points Memo, 6/13/18]

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN): “I didn’t hear a single senator say that they also thought they were repealing protections for people with pre-existing conditions.” [Axios, 6/13/18]

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “”No American should be denied health coverage based on their pre-existing medical conditions.” [CBS News, 6/13/18]

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) Opposed The Cruz Amendment: “I Think That Reopens An Issue That I Can’t Support, That It Would Make It Too Difficult For People With Pre-Existing Conditions To Get Coverage.” [Charleston Gazette Mail, 7/8/17]

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY): “Protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions remains a key priority for me.” [Star Tribune, 6/16/18]

Short-term Plans Hurt People with Pre-existing Conditions

Short-Term Plans May Exclude Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions. “Policyholders who get sick may be investigated by the insurer to determine whether the newly-diagnosed condition could be considered pre-existing and so excluded from coverage.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, 2/9/18]

  • As Many As 130 Million Nonelderly Americans Have A Pre-Existing Condition. [Center for American Progress, 4/5/17]
  • One in 4 Children Would Be Impacted If Insurance Companies Could Deny Coverage Or Charge More Because Of A Pre-existing Condition. [Center for American Progress, 4/5/17]

Junk Plans Mean Higher Premiums For People With Pre-Existing Conditions. By promoting short-term policies, the administration is making a trade-off: lower premiums and less coverage for healthy people, and higher premiums for people with preexisting conditions who need more comprehensive coverage.” [Washington Post, 5/1/18]

Short-Term Junk Plans Can Refuse To Cover Essential Health Benefits. “Typical short-term policies do not cover maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health care, preventive care, and other essential benefits, and may limit coverage in other ways.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, 2/9/18]

Under Many Short-Term Junk Plans, Benefits Are Capped At $1 Million Or Less. Short-term plans can impose lifetime and annual limits –  “for example, many policies cap covered benefits at $1 million or less.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, 2/9/18]

For more information, see Protect Our Care’s fact sheet on short-term junk plans.