Jan. 5, 2018
Trump Administration Continues Assault on Nation’s Health Care System; Latest Proposed Rule Would Allow Insurers to Scrimp on Health Benefits
Statement of Eagan Kemp, Health Care Policy Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division
Note: The administration’s “junk plan” rule, proposed on Thursday, would allow inadequate health care plans to be sold to Americans without coverage for essentials such as prescriptions and quality maternity care. As a result, these plans could be sold more cheaply and could target younger and healthier people because they likely would avoid covering chemotherapy, insulin and other lifesaving treatments. Enrollees who get sick may find themselves responsible for significant expenses, forcing them to go into debt for care and sending them into medical bankruptcy.
Compounding the damage done to our health care system by the recent corporate tax scam bill, the junk plan rule proposed on Thursday, if implemented as drafted, would hurt patients by driving up costs and threatening access to health care for millions.
This rule would destabilize the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces in current law, as insurers providing junk plans would cherry-pick the young and healthy, leaving only the sick to be covered under plans that continue to have ACA protections. By allowing the sale of poorly regulated plans, President Donald Trump is doubling down on his attacks on Obamacare and Americans’ safety by threatening to further drive up health care costs for the most vulnerable.
This proposed rule would take us back to a time when unethical insurers issued poorly regulated plans that offered false promises to consumers and abandoned them when they got sick. The public has 60 days to register their comments on this unconscionable rule. They must loudly register their disapproval.