Warner, Kaine join effort to overturn Trump expansion of junk insurance plans

Mark Warner, Tim Kaine on continuing resolutionU.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) cosponsored legislation to overturn President Trump’s expansion of “junk insurance” plans.

The Trump Administration recently released its final regulation on allowing Short-term Limited Duration Insurance (STLD) plans to expand eligibility for bare-bones health insurance plans, which do not have to provide the same level of minimum coverage as individual policies sold under the Affordable Care Act. According to experts, this move will undermine protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions by allowing insurance companies to market and sell more plans without vital consumer protections.

In addition, this change will destabilize our country’s health care system and drive up health care costs for patients by shrinking the number of individuals in plans on the individual insurance marketplace.

The resolution of disapproval introduced in the Senate and cosponsored by 44 Senators, including Sens. Warner and Kaine, would rescind the final “junk insurance” plan rule. Congressional Review Act (CRA) disapproval resolutions that obtain the support of 30 Senators on a discharge petition force a vote on the Senate floor.

Senators now have the support needed to file a discharge petition and force a vote under the CRA. A simple majority vote in the Senate would pass the resolution and send it to the House of Representatives.

“Virginians have a lot to lose if the Trump Administration is allowed to continue its policy allowing junk plans that will deny coverage to those with preexisting conditions and take away access to essential services like prescription drugs, emergency room visits, and maternity care,” said the Senators. “Congress should overturn this misguided attempt to undermine these critical consumer protections and refocus on reducing the growing insurance costs caused by the President’s ongoing attempts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act.”

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN) has said President Trump’s rule “poses a serious threat to cancer patients’ ability to access quality, affordable health coverage.” ACSCAN also said the rule “will likely leave older and sicker Americans in the individual insurance marketplace with few, if any, affordable health coverage choices” and that “patients living with serious conditions will be left paying more for the coverage they need if they can afford coverage at all.”

For months, Sens. Warner and Kaine have been sounding the alarm on President Trump’s plans to undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions by expanding health care plans that do not have many vital consumer protections.

They have urged the Administration to take swift action to stabilize the insurance marketplace and halt the expansion of “junk” health insurance plans.

In addition to Sens. Warner and Kaine, the resolution is cosponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Doug Jones (D-AL), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Text of the resolution is available here.

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