Donnelly Statement on Administration’s Effort to Raise Health Care Costs and Take Away Protections for Hoosiers and Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions

Granger, Ind. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly today released the following statement after the Trump Administration argued in a court brief that protections for pre-existing conditions should be ruled unconstitutional, the latest in its efforts to sabotage the health care system. As insurers offering health care plans on the individual marketplace in Indiana are preparing to file proposed 2019 plans by June 20, the Administration asked a federal court to strike down the ban on insurers denying coverage and charging higher rates to people with pre-existing health care conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and asthma. In addition, the Administration wants to eliminate limits on how much insurance companies can charge people based on gender, challenging the current law that prevents insurers from, for example, charging women more for coverage.

Donnelly said, “We should not go back to the days when insurance companies could deny health care coverage to Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions or charge women more for care. This is the latest deliberate and harmful action taken by the Administration to create chaos and uncertainty and drive up health care costs for families. As I’ve long said, we should work together to make health care more affordable and stabilize the markets, and I urge the Administration to stop undermining and sabotaging our health care system.”

The Administration is seeking for the health care provisions to be struck down and no longer enforced as of January 2019.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 30 percent of Hoosiers under the age of 65 (more than 1.1 million people) have pre-existing conditions that could have left them with no coverage or facing higher rates, under rules prior to the health care law.

What They’re Saying

Larry Levitt, Vice President for Health Policy at Kaiser Family Foundation: “The Justice Department’s brief creates another cloud of uncertainty for insurers, just as they’re filing proposed ACA rates for 2019. When insurance companies face uncertainty, they increase premiums.” “The Trump administration is arguing in court that the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions should be thrown out. The Justice Department’s brief creates another cloud of uncertainty for insurers, just as they’re filing proposed ACA rates for 2019. When insurance companies face uncertainty, they increase premiums…27% of non-elderly adults have pre-existing conditions.” [Larry Levitt, 6/7/18]

Andy Slavitt, Former Director of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: “The Biggest Health Care News of the Year.” “BREAKING: The biggest health care news of the year. The Trump DOJ tonight just told the courts to dismantle pre-existing conditions protections and other consumer protections. This may seem predictable, but these actions are unprecedented.” [Andy Slavitt, 6/7/18]

Timothy Jost, an emeritus professor at Washington and Lee University:  “Of all the things the Trump administration has done to destabilize the market, this may be the most major,” said Timothy Jost. “What’s an insurer that is setting rates now supposed to do, because the court will not have a decision until early summer or late fall.” [WSJ, 6/7/18]

###