Shea-Porter Backs New Legislation to Reverse Trump Administration’s Health Care Sabotage
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) today announced her support for the Undo Sabotage and Expand Affordability of Health Insurance Act of 2018, new legislation that would lower health care premiums and out-of-pocket costs for consumers. It would reverse the Trump administration’s continued sabotage of US health care markets.
The Trump administration’s sabotage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is projected to cause 6.4 million more Americans to go uninsured. Furthermore, the administration has moved forward to undermine the ACA’s essential health benefits, which prohibit lifetime and annual caps on health insurance, require health insurance plans to cover people with preexisting conditions, offer free preventive health care, and cover mental health, which is essential to turning the tide in the deadly heroin, prescription opioid, and fentanyl crisis that is devastating New Hampshire communities.
“Last year, Americans from all corners of the country came together to stop the Trump administration and the Republican Congress from taking health care away from millions, but President Trump and Congressional Republicans continue to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, raising health care premiums and causing millions of Americans to lose the coverage they rely on,” said-Shea-Porter. “Congress should immediately pass this legislation to undo the damage inflicted by the Trump administration and the Republican Majority in Congress, which is destabilizing health care markets and causing premiums to rise. We have to stop them from undermining key consumer rights, such as coverage for mental health care, substance use disorder, and preexisting conditions.”
The Undo Sabotage and Expand Affordability of Health Insurance Act of 2018 would:
- Allow more individuals to qualify for health care tax credits to lower their premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
- Stop the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act’s new health care rights, such as protections for preexisting conditions, free preventive health care, and coverage for mental health and substance use disorder.
- Provide funding for reinsurance, which will help lower health care premiums, improve Marketplace stability, and guard against Trump administration efforts to sabotage the Marketplace.
- Require open-enrollment outreach, education, and funding for the Navigator program.
Shea-Porter has led efforts in the House to counter the Trump administration’s sabotage of the ACA and to improve health care affordability and access.
On September 12, 2017, Shea-Porter led 31 House Democrats in calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to release funding for navigator groups, which are essential in helping people enroll in health care coverage. Since its inception, the Navigator program has helped educate over 9 million consumers about their coverage options. In New Hampshire, navigators work through the Bi-State Primary Care Association and the state’s Community Health Centers to provide impartial information about Marketplace plans; help consumers understand and evaluate all their options and apply for federal tax subsidies to lower the cost of premiums and out-of-pocket costs; and assist residents throughout the enrollment process.
After months of delay, and only weeks before the beginning of the unnecessarily-shortened open-enrollment period, the administration finally released the funding, although it significantly reduced the amounts granted to Navigator programs.
Last April, Shea-Porter introduced legislation to allow Americans to buy Medicare coverage. The Medicare You Can Opt Into Act would open up the Medicare program to any American who wanted to buy in, creating a public option to increase competition, choice, efficiency, transparency, and affordability in the insurance market. In addition to creating a Medicare public option, Shea-Porter’s bill would ensure that employers whose employees opt in to Medicare would not be penalized under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility provisions.