Senators introduce legislation to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions

WASHINGTON – Legislation that would prevent promoting “junk” health care plans that lack protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner, Ben Cardin, Jeanne Shaheen, and Tammy Baldwin introduced the Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act. 

Under new rules promulgated by the Trump Administration, states are permitted to use federal subsidies in order to pay for these subpar health plans by utilizing a section of the Affordable Care Act intended to give states additional flexibility to implement targeted improvements that expand coverage, reduce costs and provide more comprehensive benefits.

“Junk plans will increase health care costs for millions of consumers while weakening protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions,” said Sen. Warner.“The Trump Administration should stop trying to undermine the success of the Affordable Care Act, and instead work with Congress on targeted, bipartisan fixes that will lower health care costs and expand access to comprehensive, affordable health care coverage.”

Under the Trump Administration’s proposed policy, states will be permitted to increase out-of-pocket maximums and reduce the value of coverage, weaken essential health benefits, and implement changes increasing health care costs for the majority of beneficiaries as long as they can demonstrate that some people will see lower costs.

As a result, some Americans will have health coverage that doesn’t meet the ACA’s minimum standards, and millions of other Americans with pre-existing conditions could see their health care costs rise.

“The Trump Administration’s efforts to expand the use of junk insurance plans is bankrupt of all sense and morality. Congress must act to protect Americans from being left with higher out-of-pocket costs for less services, which can put their health in jeopardy,” said Sen. Cardin. “Improving our health care system requires serious leadership and ideas, but so far, all the Trump Administration has done is continually attempt to undermine protections for people with preexisting conditions.”

The Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act has been endorsed by Families USA, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Epilepsy Foundation, and the American Heart Association.

For a full copy of the bill click here.

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