Politico, October 10, 2018
Adam Cancryn and Alice Miranda Ollstein


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A long-shot bid to derail the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term health plans died in the Senate on Wednesday, even with Sen. Susan Collinsproviding the lone Republican vote for the resolution.

The Senate vote ended in a 50-50 tie, falling short of the majority needed to pass the measure reversing new regulations allowing insurers to sell skimpy health plans outside the Obamacare markets for up to a year, rather than the previous limit of three months.

The Trump administration has touted the expanded plans as a cheaper alternative to Obamacare, but Democrats and health groups have warned it would undermine the Obamacare market. In recent weeks, Democrats have tried to tie the short-term health plans to broader warnings about GOP efforts to gut protections for pre-existing conditions.

“These junk insurance plans can deny health care coverage to people with pre-existing conditions when they need it the most,” said Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), who authored the resolution and has made Obamacare’s patient benefits a central theme of her reelection campaign. “We can’t go back to the days when insurance companies wrote the rules, just as we cannot allow the Trump administration to rewrite the rules on guaranteed health care protections.”

The resolution, even if it had survived the Senate, had no chance of passage in the GOP-controlled House, and the Trump administration on Tuesday issued its first-ever veto threat on the measure. [...]

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