Sen. Warner, Senate Dems. File Paperwork To Force Senate Vote This Fall To Reverse Harmful Trump Admin. Rule That Would Sabotage Americans’ Health Care And Roll Back Pre-Existing Condition Protections For Millions

September 26, 2019

Washington, D.C. Senate Democrats, led by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), yesterday filed paperwork that will force a Senate vote to protect people with pre-existing conditions from another attempt by the Trump Administration to gut the Affordable Care Act. Senate Democrats filed a discharge petition on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would roll back the 1332 waiver rule, another Trump Administration effort to sabotage Americans’ health care and undermine the critical pre-existing condition protections that 130 million Americans rely on. The discharge petition is a necessary step towards forcing a vote under the CRA to reverse the Trump administration’s harmful rule. The rule, if left in place, would allow states to greenlight substandard, junk insurance plans that don’t fully protect people with pre-existing conditions, don’t cover essential health benefits like prescription drugs and maternity care, and raise costs on many American families. Under these plans, insurance companies can charge people more if they have a pre-existing condition, can deny specific benefits – or, they can deny them coverage altogether.

“Under the pretext of so-called ‘short-term’ plans, the Trump administration is pushing healthcare plans that once again allow insurance companies to discriminate against Americans based on their medical history. These skinny plans, or how I refer to them as ‘junk plans,’ also undermine the Affordable Care Act’s requirements that insurance cover things like emergency room visits, maternity care, and other essential benefits,” said Sen. Warner on the Senate floor (D-VA).  “The President tried and failed twice to pass legislation ending these protections for folks with pre-existing conditions. And since they couldn’t get their way in Congress, now they’re using executive action to try to undermine the Affordable Care Act…My Republican colleagues insist that they actually support protections for folks with pre-existing conditions. Ok, with this CRA I think there’s a chance to prove it. This resolution we are introducing today will force an up-or-down vote on these junk plans that explicitly undermine protections for pre-existing conditions. If my Republican colleagues truly support these protections, they should vote yes. It’s that simple.” 

“President Trump has claimed, again and again, that he cares about protecting the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, but his callous, repeated attempts to sabotage Americans’ health care and gut those very protections prove the exact opposite,” said Leader Schumer (D-NY). “The administration is peddling shoddy, junk plans that cost a whole lot more but don’t cover the critical health benefits the American people need, like affordable maternity care. President Trump tried twice to stomp out pre-existing condition protections for millions of Americans and sign his health care sabotage into law, and after he failed, he cranked out another executive action.  Senate Republicans say they care about preserving pre-existing condition protections, and now have a chance to prove it to the American people. I urge my colleagues to step up to the plate and join Senate Democrats in supporting this resolution.”

Disapproval resolutions under the Congressional Review Act exemplify   Congress’ authority to review and overturn rules implemented by the executive branch. Once a rule is finalized, the Congressional Review Act provides Congress 60 legislative days to review and, if they so choose, vote to overturn it. Unlike other legislation on the Senate floor, a disapproval resolution under the Congressional Review Act only needs a simple majority to pass and can be placed on the Senate calendar and scheduled for a vote with 30 members’ signatures. As a result of the petition filed by Sen. Warner today, Senators will vote on overturning the rule before the close of the 60 legislative-day window.