May 31, 2018

Trump Sabotage of ACA Leads to Higher Insurance Bills for RI Families

Whitehouse: “…higher health insurance costs will continue to stretch family budgets.”

Providence, RI – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today addressed the Trump administration’s sabotage of the Affordable Care Act, a significant factor in the proposed rate increases for 2019 health insurance plans in Rhode Island’s marketplace, HealthSource RI. 

“These proposed premium increases are a result of the Trump administration’s deliberate attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act after Republicans in Congress failed to repeal the law last year,” said Whitehouse.  “While the diligent work of state leaders has protected Rhode Islanders from some of the colossal premium spikes seen in other states, higher health insurance costs will continue to stretch family budgets.  Despite Republicans’ effort to destabilize American health insurance markets, financial support for purchasing an insurance plan continues to be available and HealthSource RI continues to serve Rhode Islanders well.”

Discussing repeal of the Affordable Care Act at an event in October, President Trump said, “We’re taking a little different route than we had hoped, because getting Congress — they forget what their [repeal and replace] pledges were.  So we’re going a little different route.”

During that same month, President Trump stopped providing cost-sharing payments to insurers that reduced out-of-pocket costs for families, resulting in insurance companies passing $10 billion in costs on to customers.  The Trump administration also shortened the open enrollment period and cut funding used to help Americans sign up for insurance. 

As part of their tax law, Republicans in Congress ended the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance coverage requirement that stabilized the health care market, kept premiums low, and made health insurance accessible to more people. 

President Trump recently proposed expanding insurance plans that discriminate based on pre-existing conditions, and can impose lifetime and annual coverage limits.   The changes would allow some plans to drop essential benefits like coverage for prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health and drug treatment.  Whitehouse joined Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) in cosponsoring the Fair Care Act, legislation to block the rule and guarantee protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Whitehouse is the sponsor of legislation to add a publicly operated health insurance option to individual marketplaces, which would guarantee American consumers access to an affordable, high quality plan in every health insurance market in the country.

Republican leaders in Congress have refused to consider a bipartisan bill sponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), which Whitehouse supports, that would stabilize insurance markets and result in lower health care costs for American families.


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Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921