Protect Our Care Wisconsin: Senate Republicans block resolution to protect people with pre-existing conditions from Trump’s junk plans rule

Contact: Joe Zepecki
jz@jzcomms.com
202-445-1517

“On protecting patients with pre-existing conditions listening to what Republicans have to say is pointless, just watch what they do,” said Joe Zepecki

WISCONSIN – Following Senate Republicans block of Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin’s discharge petition to force a vote on her resolution to block insurers from selling the Trump Administration’s short-term, junk insurance plans, Joe Zepecki of Protect Our Care Wisconsin, issued the following statement:

“After years of deliberate sabotage efforts against the Affordable Care Act and all of it’s consumer protections – including for those with pre-existing conditions – Republicans have talked a totally different game lately. Sadly, much like the junk plans these GOP officials are pushing, the words ring hollow. Republicans block of Senator Baldwin’s resolution, and President Trump’s veto threat, mean this couldn’t be more simple: on protecting patients with pre-existing conditions listening to what Republicans have to say is pointless, just watch what they do.”

These Senate Republicans Who Professed Support for Pre-existing Conditions Protections Have Made Crystal Clear Where they Stand in blocking Sen. Baldwin’s resolution:

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV): “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 Mike Rounds (R-SD): We Did Not Intend To Remove Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions When We Repealed The Individual Mandate.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. John Barrasso (R-WY): “Protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions remains a key priority for me.” [Star Tribune, 6/16/18]

Talk is cheap, apparently.

ADDITIONAL BACKGOUND

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.

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