Shaheen Statement on Administration’s Latest Effort to Sabotage Affordable Care Act by Expanding Junk Health Insurance Plans

August 01, 2018

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s decision to implement a regulation that will expand the use of short-term health insurance plans—or “junk plans”—that would further destabilize health insurance markets, result in higher premiums for older Americans and put the health care for millions of people living with pre-existing conditions at risk.

“Families across the country deserve access to affordable health care coverage, and the administration’s latest effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act by expanding junk plans is dangerous,” said Shaheen. “These junk plans are allowed to charge higher premiums based on age, gender and health status, all while being exempt from coverage requirements for basic medical necessities that patients need, including hospitalization, prescription drugs, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, and maternity care. Junk plans are misleading to American families, luring away younger and healthier individuals from comprehensive coverage and in doing so raising premium costs for comprehensive coverage for older patients and individuals with pre-existing conditions. This latest effort by the administration to undercut the ACA will result in higher premiums for millions of Americans, and worse coverage for many more. I’ll continue to push back against actions that threaten access to quality health care, and will keep reaching across the aisle to stabilize our insurance marketplace and lower premiums.”

Shaheen has consistently opposed efforts to sabotage healthcare for Americans, and sent a letter in April calling on the Trump administration to halt expansion of these junk health insurance plans.

Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate that would provide marketplace stability by permanently funding and increasing eligibility for cost-sharing reduction payments. Her bill, the Marketplace Certainty Act, would make cost-sharing reduction payments permanent and expand eligibility to more working Americans. Senator Shaheen also helped introduce the Individual Health Insurance Marketplace Improvement Act to create a permanent reinsurance program for the individual health insurance market, similar to the successful programs used to lower premiums and spur competition in the Medicare Part D program. Shaheen also joined a bipartisan group of senators in support of the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017, which would lower premiums and improve quality of care for patients and families across the nation.