May 24, 2019

Duckworth, Durbin Help Introduce Legislation to Overturn President Trump’s Expansion of Junk Insurance Plans


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Duck Durbin (D-IL) joined Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Doug Jones (D-AL) this week in introducing legislation to overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of junk health insurance plans that don’t have to cover critical health care services or provide health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. In Illinois, more than five million people have a pre-existing condition. The No Junk Plans Act is cosponsored by the entire Senate Democratic caucus, with companion legislation introduced in the House last week.

“The expansion of these junk insurance plans is yet another reminder that the Trump Administration is still focused on sabotaging the Affordable Care Act and making it harder for Illinoisans to access quality, affordable healthcare,” Duckworth said. “I’ll keep working with my colleagues to protect access to critical health benefits so every Illinoisan, including those of us who have pre-existing conditions, has access to the health coverage they need for themselves and their families.”

“The Affordable Care Act put into place strong protections to help the 133 million Americans who have some sort of pre-existing condition—ensuring they couldn’t be charged more for insurance, denied coverage, or thrown off insurance when it was needed most. President Trump doesn’t seem to care about keeping these protections for American families. I will continue to fight his dangerous and heartless health care policies as hard as I can,” Durbin said.

The nation’s top health care organizations, representing tens of thousands of the nation’s physicians, patients, medical students and other health experts, are voicing strong support for the legislation to overturn Trump’s expansion of junk plans. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network recently looked at the impact of junk insurance plans in six states, including Wisconsin, and found that a woman diagnosed with breast cancer while enrolled in a junk plan would be forced to pay more than $40,000 out of pocket for her care. Under an ACA plan, that same woman’s out-of-pocket costs would be capped at $8,000. Not one of the plans reviewed included coverage for individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

Last October, the Senate voted on a proposal that would have blocked the Trump Administration’s rule to expand “junk insurance” plans. The measure was supported by 50 Senators, including every Democrat and one Republican. Ultimately, the petition did not receive the simple majority needed to pass the Senate and send it to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The No Junk Plans Act is supported by AARP, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, AIDS United, American Lung Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Association for Community Affiliated Plans, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice, Mental Health America, Little Lobbyists, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Eating Disorders Coalition, Residential Eating Disorders Consortium, March of Dimes, Families USA, MS Society and WomenHeart.