In The News: Tammy Baldwin Leading Effort to Force Vote on Junk Insurance Plans to Protect Wisconsinites with Pre-Existing Conditions

MADISON — U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today introduced legislation that would force a vote to overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of junk insurance plans, which can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

Tammy Baldwin is leading this fight, which is personal for her and the over 2 million Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions. Reports from across the country detail her efforts:

Vox – The new Democratic plan to protect preexisting conditions ahead of the 2018 midterms
Tammy Baldwin is leading an effort to protect coverage for preexisting conditions ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is leading the effort, introducing a resolution to unwind the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term insurance plans. Those plans are not subject to Obamacare’s rules for preexisting conditions or essential health benefits and Democrats dismiss them as “junk.”

“It is sabotage, in my mind, against the guarantees for preexisting conditions,” Baldwin told me and other reporters on Tuesday. “These policies aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.”

Baldwin is uniquely situated to talk about the health care debate: She endured a three-month hospital stay when she was 9 years old for a condition similar to spinal meningitis and has been labeled with a preexisting condition ever since.

Now she’s leading the charge to reverse Trump’s short-term — “junk” in her words — insurance plans.

“There are so many parents or foster parents or grandparents who either worry about financial ruin if they get a sick child what they need or they worry: ‘Can we hold off, can we hold off?’” Baldwin told me recently. “The administration isn’t looking at the whole picture and is being disingenuous because they’re smart enough to look at the whole picture.”

HuffPost – Senate Democrats Want To Stop Trump From Bringing Back Junk Health Insurance
Sen. Tammy Baldwin says this crusade is personal — and if she can force a vote, she will.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and 30 Democratic colleagues want to block a Trump administration regulation that could flood health insurance markets with junk coverage.

In a Tuesday meeting with reporters, she echoed a chorus of experts and state officials ― warning that consumers might not understand the limits of what they are buying and that, as short-term plans lure people in good health, insurers will have to raise premiums for everybody else.

“It is sabotage, in my mind,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin’s bill to stop the regulation from taking effect falls under the Congressional Review Act, which means that it can get a floor vote with the support of just 30 senators ― exactly the number of co-sponsors on the bill ― and that it can pass with a simple majority.

She went on to recount a story about a man who got cancer, only to discover that his insurance had limits on coverage.

The man and his wife took out loans and maxed out credit cards to pay for the chemotherapy, which was ultimately unsuccessful and left the wife ruined financially, Baldwin said.

“They went bankrupt, they lost their house, they lost everything, and sadly, in that case, the dad didn’t survive,” Baldwin said. “How many families should undergo things like that?”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Tammy Baldwin pushes legislation to overturn Trump administration rule on short-term health plans

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin introduced legislation Wednesday to overturn a Trump administration rule on short-term health plans.

Baldwin’s office announced that 30 Democrats are co-sponsoring the resolution to force a vote to rescind the rule.

“The Trump Administration is rewriting the rules on guaranteed health care protections that millions of Americans depend on,” Baldwin said in a statement. “They are moving forward on an expansion of junk insurance plans that can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and don’t have to cover essential services like prescription drugs, emergency room visits and maternity care.”

With 30 co-sponsors, Baldwin can file a discharge petition to force a vote on her resolution. A similar vote would have to take place in the House. A simple majority vote is needed in both chambers to overturn the regulation.

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