Today the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will mark-up a series of bills aimed at reducing patient out-of-pocket costs and preserving access to health care. Specifically, the committee will consider a measure that would exempt patients from having to pay surprise medical bills in most circumstances.
House Votes to Stop Tax Subsidies for Inadequate Health Plans
Bill Would Reverse Federal Guidance Allowing People to Use Taxpayer Money to Purchase Skimpy Health Plans
Washington, D.C., May 9, 2019—Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would halt Department of Health and Human Services and Department of the Treasury guidance enabling individuals to use federal tax subsidies to purchase health insurance that does not meet coverage standards under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:
“Limiting the appeal of inadequate health plans is critical to maintaining protections for people with serious health conditions like cancer. These non-compliant plans are exempt from having to cover people’s pre-existing conditions, do not have to cover essential health benefits like prescription drugs, and can set arbitrary limits on what little coverage they do provide.
“Allowing taxpayer subsidies to be used for these health plans feeds the misconception that they provide meaningful coverage, when in reality it could result in many more Americans being underinsured and facing potential financial devastation should they get sick. Proliferation of these plans will also lead to a split health insurance market, pricing those who want and need access to comprehensive coverage out of the market by making that coverage more and more expensive.
“On behalf of the more than 1.7 million Americans who will be diagnosed with cancer this year and the more than 15 million American cancer survivors who need access to meaningful health coverage, we commend the House for passing this bill and urge the Senate to quickly to do the same.”