WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) blasted President Trump’s executive action on healthcare and called on the president to work with Congressional Democrats and Republicans to improve healthcare for Ohioans. Today, President Trump signed an executive order to roll back standards for risky health insurance plans and expand access to barebones short term health plans, threatening the health insurance market and potentially driving up insurance rates for Ohioans.
“Instead of employing backdoor tactics meant to undermine important healthcare protections, President Trump should come to the table with members of both parties to pursue meaningful healthcare reform that benefits Ohioans,” said Brown. “We should be taking steps to stabilize insurance markets, extend funding for CHIP, lower the cost of prescription drugs, and combat the addiction epidemic. Instead, President Trump continues to pursue harmful action to destabilize the insurance market and increase costs for Ohio families.”
Trump’s action would allow so-called association plans to limit access to important healthcare benefits such as substance abuse treatment, maternity services, and emergency care. The order would also expand the length of time that individuals can keep short-term health insurance plans, causing additional uncertainty and unpredictability in the market. By flooding the market with association plans and short-term health plans, Trump’s executive order threatens to destabilize the insurance market and cause rates to increase for Ohioans – especially older and sicker Ohioans.
Brown has called for Republicans and Democrats to work together following failed efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, repeal would have raised premiums and kicked millions of Americans off of their insurance.
In September, Brown and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) asked Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price to work with them to fix the healthcare system so it keeps people healthy, rather than just treating them when they are sick.
Brown has also cosponsored bipartisan legislation to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), known as Healthy Start in Ohio, for five years. Brown introduced the bipartisan bill with leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, on which Brown sits, last month ahead of CHIP’s expiration. The bill has passed the Senate Finance Committee, and now the bill awaits action in the full Senate. Funding for CHIP expired on Sept. 30.