Short-Term Plans Proposed by Trump Administration Would Roll Back Consumer Protections Enshrined in Affordable Care Act
Statement of Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, in response to the Trump administration’s announcement today of a proposed federal rule that would allow insurance companies to skirt Affordable Care Act provisions that prevent insurance companies from selling so-called short-term plans lacking comprehensive coverage
(BOSTON, MA) – “Today, the Trump administration continued its campaign to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by rolling back important federal regulations designed to protect consumers from financial hardship and guarantee that comprehensive coverage is available to everyone no matter the status of their health.
“The proposed federal rule, if finalized, carves a pathway for insurance companies to offer subpar insurance coverage, known as short-term plans, as an alternative to comprehensive coverage sold on the ACA’s marketplaces. Promoting this type of coverage would create an uneven playing field in which younger, healthier consumers flock to the less expensive, yet bare-bones plans, that don’t cover many essential services, forcing older and less healthy patients to pay higher premiums for the comprehensive coverage they need.
“By giving insurance companies more leeway to sell plans that can skirt protections the ACA put in place specifically to ensure people with preexisting conditions such as cancer, asthma or diabetes wouldn’t be denied or priced out of coverage, President Trump is once again prioritizing politics over peoples’ health.
“The administration claims they are offering consumers more choice, but in reality they’re raising costs for older and less healthy Americans at the expense of offering cheaper coverage to younger and healthy individuals that may or may not be there when they face an unexpected illness or injury.
“Instead of sabotaging the ACA, the Trump administration should be working to strengthen our health care system by addressing consumers’ top health care priority: lowering the burden of health care costs on families’ budgets. Consumers shouldn’t have to sacrifice comprehensive coverage for cheaper premiums. There are real solutions that will help stabilize the marketplaces and address consumers’ affordability concerns, but this rule is not one of them.”
About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.