August 29, 2018

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Legislation to Overturn the Expansion of Junk Insurance Plans

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) cosponsored legislation introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) to overturn the Trump administration’s final ‘junk insurance’ plan rule. The resolution of disapproval would rescind the Trump administration’s rule expanding ‘junk insurance’ plans that don’t have to provide health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. 

“The expansion of junk plans will only hurt Americans in need of affordable health care, who are misled into buying insurance plans that often exclude critical benefits like mental health and maternity care,” said Cortez Masto. “Instead of making health care more affordable, these junk plans raise premiums for other consumers and deny protections to patients with pre-existing conditions. Every Nevadan deserves access to quality, affordable health care – not continued attacks to sabotage their health care.” 

According to an analysis by the LA Times, “more than 98% — or 335 of 340 — of the healthcare groups that commented on the proposal to loosen restrictions on short-term health plans criticized it, in many cases warning that the rule could gravely hurt sick patients.” This included patient and consumer advocates, physician groups, nursing associations, hospital groups, medical providers, insurance companies and more. 

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN) said it “poses a serious threat to cancer patients’ ability to access quality, affordable health coverage.” ACSCAN also said the Trump administration’s rule “will likely leave older and sicker Americans in the individual insurance marketplace with few, if any, affordable health coverage choices” and that “patients living with serious conditions will be left paying more for the coverage they need if they can afford coverage at all.” 

Now that the resolution has been introduced with 30 cosponsors, Senator Baldwin has the support needed to file a discharge petition to force a vote under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) on her resolution to overturn the Trump Administration’s expansion of junk insurance plans. Congressional Review Act disapproval resolutions that obtain the support of 30 Senators on a discharge petition, and 218 members in the House, allow Congress to overturn regulatory actions taken by federal agencies with a simple majority vote in both chambers. 

The resolution is also cosponsored by Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Angus King (I-Maine), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Text of the resolution is available HERE.