Chairman Scott Stands with Democratic Colleagues to Protect Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions

May 16, 2019
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education and Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) delivered the following remarks during the floor debate for the H.R. 987 – Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act. 

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I yield myself as much time as I may consume. I rise today in support of this bill to improve access to quality health coverage, protect the Affordable Care Act, and cut prescription drug costs for consumers.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, the administration has consistently undermined the quality, affordable coverage that Americans have come to expect.

“House Republicans passed a bill last year that CBO concluded would provide coverage for over 20 million fewer people, would increase premiums by 20 percent the first year, would cover less, and would jeopardize protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

“We can do better. And so, Mr. Speaker, I want to speak on one important provision of H.R. 987, which reverses the administration’s attempt to proliferate the junk insurance plans.

“Mr. Speaker, while for healthier, younger Americans, short-term junk plans may sound like a good idea, those policies will fail to cover essential benefits and the policies will lack consumer protections. They may not provide decent coverage for when they get sick.

“But, the major problem with the proliferation of junk plans is the fact they allow insurance companies to sell plans to healthy people only—meaning that everybody else will be in an insurance pool which is sicker than they are today. And while a privileged few may pay less, everybody else will pay more. In fact, one study showed that the combination of all these junk plans, lack of mandate, and other sabotage of the Affordable Care Act could result in thousands of dollars more for everybody else to be paying.

“These plans will raise the cost for most Americans, and that’s a step in the wrong direction. Mr. Speaker, we should be reducing the cost of insurance for most Americans, not increasing the cost.

“This bill will prevent the administration from going in the wrong direction, so I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 987 and reserve the balance of my time.”

The Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act includes H.R. 1010, legislation to reverse the Trump administration’s expansion of junk health care plans, which the Education and Labor Committee advanced on a party line vote last rule last month.

To read the fact sheet on H.R. 1010, click here.

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