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Tell the Trump Administration: Hands off Critical ACA Protections

Following an executive order by President Trump last fall, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed a new rule that would make it easier for consumers to purchase short-term insurance plans. The rule would reverse the Affordable Care Act’s restrictions on these plans, leaving consumers vulnerable to higher costs and weaker protections.

Through April 23, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services is accepting comments on this proposed rule from individuals like you. Your comments can demonstrate that while Americans want relief from costly premiums, we do not want to return to the unregulated days of skimpy insurance and higher costs for those who are sick.

Use the form below to submit your comments to the administration. We also invite you to add your own views or personal story about the importance of critical ACA protections and a strong marketplace.

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  • Background

    Last fall, the Trump Administration released an executive order calling for changes to the health care system that would weaken protections for health insurance consumers across the country. Among these was a proposal to make it easier to purchase short-term insurance. Short-term plans are designed to be temporary plans that are less-costly, but they are not required to cover the full range of benefits mandated under the ACA and include plans that can reject people with pre-existing conditions. Currently, individuals can only purchase short-term insurance for three months, allowing for temporary coverage for consumers while still ensuring that these plans are not used as a loophole from the Affordable Care Act’s protections.

    The proposed rule would change that, allowing consumers to purchase short-term insurance for up to a year, with the opportunity to renew it. This would incentivize people with the least health care needs from leaving the individual market to purchase these plans. However, without ACA protections, individuals with pre-existing conditions could face discrimination, and others would be left without the full range of benefits guaranteed by the ACA’s essential health benefits, such as preventative care, maternity care, and mental health services.

    Also troubling, these plans would incentivize the healthiest individual market enrollees to exit, making the individual market older and sicker. This would force insurance companies to charge even higher rates, burdening middle-income families with no other insurance options.

    The ACA was designed to fix a system that rewarded charging sick people higher rates and offering the smallest benefit package possible. Instead of undoing the ACA’s most critical protections, the administration should work to reduce costs and increase choice in the marketplace.

    Jewish Values

    For centuries, Jewish law has commanded communities to provide healthcare to their inhabitants (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot De'ot IV: 23). We learn that healthcare is a core element of creating a society of equality and justice. Continuing to provide healthcare for children lifts up the most vulnerable among us, advancing equality for all.

    More Information

    For more on this issue, visit the RAC’s healthcare page, or check out the RACBlog. You can also contact Senior Legislative Assistant Nathan Bennett at (202) 387-2800.