Senate Should Stop Tax Subsidies for Inadequate Health Plans

October 30, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C—Today the U.S. Senate will vote on a resolution under the Congressional Review Act that would stop Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of the Treasury guidance allowing 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:

“Today the Senate has an opportunity to protect comprehensive health care coverage for cancer patients, survivors and all those with serious medical conditions.

“Limiting the availability of inadequate health plans is critical to maintaining protections for people with serious health conditions like cancer. These non-compliant plans do not have to cover essential health benefits like prescription drugs and can set arbitrary limits on what little coverage they do provide, and most are exempt from having to cover people’s pre-existing conditions.

“Allowing taxpayer subsidies to be used for these health plans serves only to mislead people into thinking that such plans provide meaningful coverage, when in reality these plans would 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.

“We strongly urge senators to keep their promise to protect people with pre-existing conditions and stop this rule. We also urge HHS and Treasury to reconsider their guidance and stand up for the more than 1.7 million Americans expected to be diagnosed with cancer in this country this year and the more than 16 million survivors who need access to comprehensive, affordable health coverage.”

Media Contacts

Allison Miller
Director, Media Advocacy
Washington, D.C.
Alissa Crispino
Vice President, Media Advocacy & Communications
Washington, D.C.