September 06, 2018

Duckworth, Durbin Join New Effort to Protect Seniors and Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions

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


[WASHINGTON, D.C.]– U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and 41 other Democratic Senators on legislation to overturn the Trump Administration’s expansion of “junk health insurance plans.”  As of today, 44 Senators have cosponsored the resolution of disapproval of the Trump Administration’s final “junk health insurance plan” rule, which only needs the support of 30 Senators to force a vote.  These year-long “junk plans” can exclude basic health benefits including hospitalization, prescription drugs, maternity care, and substance abuse treatment, threaten access to quality, affordable care for Americans, and raise health care costs, especially for older Americans and those with pre-existing conditions.

“After repeatedly trying and failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Trump’s White House is now actively trying to promote junk insurance plans that exclude basic benefits including hospitalization, prescription drugs, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, and maternity care,” Durbin said.  “These plans will hurt seniors and Americans with pre-existing conditions most.  They are a return to the days when insurers would comb through your medical history in an effort to deny you coverage or refuse to cover care you might need.  I’m proud to join my colleagues on this resolution of disapproval and will continue to work to ensure that all American families have choices when it comes to affordable, quality health care coverage.”

“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 prescription drugs and other critical health benefits like maternity, preventive and mental health care so that every Illinoisan, including those like me who have pre-existing conditions, has the opportunity to access comprehensive health coverage for themselves and their families.”

Along with Durbin, Duckworth, and Baldwin, the resolution is also cosponsored by Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Doug Jones (D-AL), Angus King (I-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

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

In June, Durbin and Duckworth joined 45 other Senators in a letter urging the Trump Administration to halt the implementation of these “junk plans.”

Text of the resolution is available here.