Rosen Co-Sponsors Legislation to Block Junk Health Care Plans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), announced her co-sponsorship of legislation to block implementation of the Trump Administration rules expanding short-term health insurance plans that do not include protections for pre-existing conditions or provide essential health benefits.

“The Trump Administration’s plans to sell junk health insurance plans is a scam that would put Nevadans at risk of having coverage that fails to protect them,” said Senator Rosen. “By selling junk plans, this Administration could drive up health care costs and enable big insurance companies to discriminate against Nevadans who have pre-existing medical conditions. Both sides of the aisle need to come together and focus on stabilizing our health care markets, lowering premiums and drug costs, and defending key consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act for people with pre-existing conditions.”

BACKGROUND: Short-term health insurance plans are called “junk plans” because they may exclude many types of care. Patients may purchase them thinking they have real insurance, only to find out once they are in the hospital that they have been paying for something with very little or no coverage for their actual health care needs. The Obama Administration limited short-term plans to 3 months so they would truly just be a bridge between comprehensive coverage plans. The Trump Administration made a new rule that expanded access to these plans, allowing consumers to have them for up to 36 months (including renewals).  

As her first action in the Senate, Rosen helped introduce a resolution that would authorize Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in Texas v. United States – a pending lawsuit in federal court, on behalf of the U.S. Senate, in order to defend the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage protections for people with pre-existing conditions. 

In the House, then-Congresswoman Rosen was a co-sponsor of Congresswoman Castor’s resolution that would have (H.J.Res. 140) overturned the Trump Administration’s rule on junk health insurance plans.

Rosen also led the House resolution last Congress to defend the constitutionality of the ACA in court. The resolution was co-sponsored by the Ranking Members of all House committees of jurisdiction in addition to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer. The resolution had nearly 190 co-sponsors by the end of the 115th Congress.