Washington, D.C. – After the Trump Administration finalized “rules of the road” for next year’s Affordable Care Act marketplaces that favor insurance companies over the American people, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“President Trump and Congressional Republicans have already set the stage for higher prices and more confusion next fall with laws and regulations that undermine the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Now, the Trump Administration is compounding its attack by encouraging insurance companies to undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions with a race-to-the-bottom approach that fundamentally undermines the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefit coverage guarantee. Meanwhile, the Administration is sweetening the deal for insurance companies by loosening restrictions on extreme rate hikes.

“Today’s Trump Administration action will make it even harder for Americans to sign up for coverage next year, with further cuts to local assisters who help families navigate their options and enroll. The Administration’s own data from this year’s enrollment period shows that their cuts to outreach and assistance dampened enrollment – especially among younger and healthier consumers – while states that ran their own marketplaces did not see similar drop-off. Today’s sabotage will compound that problem.

“As we look ahead to this fall’s open enrollment period, when premiums are already expected to spike due to harmful actions by Trump and his Republican Congress, there is simply no excuse for setting rules of the road that allow insurance companies to chip away at benefit quality and hike rates with impunity, while at the same time stripping away resources that help Americans understand their insurance options. This short-sighted, bad-faith rule is yet another brick in the wall that Republicans are building between the American people and access to good, affordable coverage.”