Trump’s Healthcare Actions Hurt Millions of Americans

Oct 13, 2017 Issues: Health Care
Washington, DC – October 13, 2017 – Congressman Doyle (D-PA-14) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to make drastic changes in health insurance coverage for millions of Americans. 
 
“Yesterday President Trump took several steps that are likely to make health insurance more expensive – and possibly unaffordable – for millions of Americans, many of whom desperately need that coverage.
 
President Trump signed an Executive Order directing government agencies to loosen the rules on association health plans (AHPs) and short-term health insurance plans (STLDIs). Such a move could dramatically increase the availability of insurance policies that cover less (and thus cost less) for individuals and small businesses – siphoning younger, healthier customers out of the ACA-compliant exchanges. 
 
Such substandard plans often don’t provide the same critical coverage as ACA-compliant plans – and they can make insurance more expensive, and even unaffordable, for people who are sick, or have pre-existing conditions.
 
Incidentally, such plans could also be exempt from state insurance regulations that protect policy-holders from fraud and plans that run out of money. That, in turn, would push up expenses for millions of the (generally older and/or sicker) Americans who continued to purchase health insurance on the ACA exchanges.
 
In addition the President’s Executive Order called for loosening the rules and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), which provide employers with tax breaks for money they give their employees to cover some of their health care expenses. Concerns have been raised that such a change could result in fewer companies offering health insurance to their workers.  
 
Then last night, the White House announced that the federal government would stop making the (Cost-Sharing Reduction or CSR) payments that lower the cost of health care for millions of low-income people on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges. Without the CSR payments, premiums will go up for many households with modest incomes. 
 
In fact, each of the steps President Trump took yesterday is likely to make health care more expensive – and in some cases unaffordable – for millions of Americans, particularly the ones who desperately need that coverage. The President’s actions won’t fix the problems with the ACA; ironically, they’ll make those problems worse for many Americans. He seems determined to follow through on his campaign pledge to get rid of “Obamacare” – no matter what the cost. I’m outraged and disgusted that anyone would stoop so low.
 
The President’s actions threaten to take America back to the bad old days when insurance policies were full of loopholes and limits, Americans who were sick, old, or had pre-existing conditions couldn’t get the health care they needed at a price they could afford, millions of Americans rolled the dice and went without insurance, and a lot of young healthy folks bought cheap health insurance that would leave them with a stack of health care bills if – God forbid – they actually got a serious illness. 
 
The Senate rejected several ACA repeal bills, and a bipartisan group in the Senate has been working on legislation to address the ACA’s shortcomings. But instead of supporting bipartisan efforts to fix the Affordable Care Act, President Trump took steps yesterday that were intended to undermine it. Consequently, he now owns health care reform. Having said “Let Obamacare implode,” taking steps to make sure that it would, and rejecting bipartisan efforts to fix it, he now bears full responsibility for the problems with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 
 
“Survival of the fittest” shouldn’t be the foundation of the health care system in the richest, most medically advanced country of the world. I will continue to do everything in my power to prevent President Trump from taking affordable health care away millions of Americans.”
 
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