Warner leads effort to protect pre-existing condition coverage
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) led the Senate Democratic Caucus in introducing a Congressional Review Act resolution to stop the Trump Administration from pushing “junk plans” that don’t fully protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.
Under the Trump Administration’s 1332 waiver rule, these junk plans once again allow insurance companies to discriminate against Americans based on their medical history in an effort to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), this resolution must be considered within 60 legislative days of July 15 and can pass the Senate with the support of a simple majority of Senators.
“It’s clear that the Trump Administration is determined to limit Americans’ access to health care and undermine protections for millions of people with pre-existing conditions,” said Sen. Warner. “The junk plans pushed forward by this Administration will inevitably disrupt our health care system, stripping basic coverage while increasing costs for Virginia families. Congress should protect coverage for vital services like prescription medicines, visits to the emergency room, and maternity care by overturning the Administration’s ill-advised plan to expand the use of junk plans. We have an opportunity here to send a message to the President that instead of attacking the Affordable Care Act, he must work with Congress on targeted, bipartisan fixes that will lower health care costs and expand access to comprehensive, affordable health care coverage.”
The resolution mirrors Sen. Warner’s legislation, Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act, that would prevent the Trump Administration from promoting “junk” health care plans that lack protections for people with pre-existing conditions and would increase costs for millions of Americans.
Sen. Warner was joined on the resolution by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and the entire Senate Democratic Caucus.
“After failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act through Congress, the Trump Administration has taken a series of steps to sabotage it, like pushing the use of plans that can discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions,” said Sen. Kaine. “With this resolution, we are standing up against the Administration’s attacks on health care and working to protect people with pre-existing conditions.”
“President Trump is proving yet again that we have to believe what he does, not what he says. That he can claim to care about protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions, while simultaneously rolling back pre-existing condition protections, reeks of the utmost hypocrisy,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “I challenge my Republican colleagues who claim to support pre-existing condition protections to actually do something about it, and join us in voting in favor of our resolution to get rid of this harmful rule. When Senate Democrats force a vote on this resolution, we will see if Republicans finally put their money where their mouth is.”
The following organizations support the resolution: National Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Heart Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Mended Little Hearts, Hemophilia Federation of America, Chronic Disease Coalition, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, National Organization for Rare Disorders, WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, Susan G. Komen, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, COPD Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Hemophilia Foundation, Arthritis Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, National Psoriasis Foundation, Alpha-1 Foundation, ALS Association, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Immune Deficiency Foundation, March of Dimes, American Liver Foundation, National Health Council, National Patient Advocate Foundation, Protect Our Care, and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.
Democrats in the House of Representatives also announced support for the measure to block the Trump Administration from weakening pre-existing condition protections. An identical resolution will be introduced in the House by Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) when the House of Representatives returns to Washington in September.