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Udall, Heinrich Cosponsor Legislation to Overturn the Trump Administration’s Expansion of Junk Insurance Plans

Trump’s junk insurance plans don’t have to provide health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) cosponsored a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution from U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) to overturn the Trump Administration’s expansion of “junk insurance” plans. Currently, 44 senators have cosponsored the resolution of disapproval, signaling their opposition to President Trump’s final junk insurance plan rule. The legislation needs the support of only 30 senators to force a vote.

The Trump administration’s rule weakens health care protections for people across New Mexico, expanding the availability of short-term coverage plans that are not required to provide the full range of benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These short-term plans often leave out coverage for basic medical needs, including mental health, prescriptions drugs, maternity care and pre-existing conditions.

“The Trump administration is rewriting the rules on guaranteed health care protections that millions of Americans depend on. They are moving forward on an expansion of junk insurance plans that can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and don’t have to cover essential services like prescription drugs, emergency room visits and maternity care,” said Baldwin. “Anyone who says they support coverage for people with pre-existing conditions should support this resolution to overturn the Trump Administration’s expansion of junk insurance plans.”

“This new rule creates a second class of health care plans that fail to cover basic services like maternity care, prescription drugs and mental health,” said Udall. “The Trump administration is intent on taking us back to the days when people were forced to depend on bare-bones junk insurance plans that didn’t cover services they desperately needed. This rule jeopardizes affordable, comprehensive health care coverage for working families and people with pre-existing conditions in New Mexico and across the country. That’s why it’s vital that we support this resolution and fight these efforts to undermine our health care.”

“These proposed junk insurance plans are yet another way the Trump administration is sabotaging the health care market,” said Heinrich. “They won’t cover prescription drugs or pre-existing conditions. This will only result in higher costs for lower quality coverage. It’s time for President Trump to stop dismantling the health care system to score political points. Pragmatic policy solutions to reduce health care costs and improve how providers deliver care are within reach if President Trump and Republican Leadership would just be willing to let us work together to find them.”

Forty-four senators cosponsored Baldwin’s resolution to force a vote on overturning the expansion of junk insurance plans. In addition to Udall and Heinrich, the resolution is cosponsored by Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), 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.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), 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.).

In April, Udall and Heinrich previously expressed their opposition to the proposed rule in a letter sent to the Trump Administration during the public comment period. 

Congressional Review Act (CRA) disapproval resolutions that obtain the support of 30 Senators on a discharge petition force a vote on the Senate floor.  The resolution has the support needed to file a discharge petition and force a vote under the CRA on her resolution to overturn the Trump Administration’s expansion of junk insurance plans. A simple majority vote in the Senate would pass the resolution and send it to the House of Representatives.

Text of the resolution is available here.