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Kathy Castor responds to Donald Trump health care policy ruling

A judge ruled the Donald Trump administration can expand the sale of “junk” health care plans, Kathy Castor responds.

In a win for the Trump administration that furthers it’s goal of dismantling the Affordable Care Act (ACA), U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled that short-term “junk” health plans don’t undermine ACA and, therefore, can be sold.

Trump’s policy allowing for the sale of such health care plans took effect in October 2018, but challengers claimed that selling the plans undermined the existing law by luring people away from the marketplace at the center of ACA.

Judge Leon disagreed, saying there was no evidence to suggest the new policy:

“is having or will have the type of impact — substantial exodus from the individual market exchanges — that would threaten the ACA’s structural core.”

U.S. Rep. Castor, who introduced legislation in February that would protect consumers from these kinds of short-term health care solutions, released this statement after learning of the ruling:

“Junk plans are no substitute for meaningful health insurance, but are instead cynical attempts to lure families and individuals into cheap and insufficient coverage.  Junk plans do not protect you if you get sick, can discriminate against people with preexisting conditions and leave you on the hook for costly medical bills.  

“The House of Representatives passed my bill, H.R. 1010, in the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act to help Americans from being defrauded by junk plans that do not cover preexisting conditions, hospital stays, prescription drugs and other basic care. 

“By promoting junk plans, the Trump administration is sanctioning higher health care costs for American families. The Energy and Commerce Committee heard direct testimony on this point on March 12, 2019.”

“Such testimony and evidence led to adoption of my Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act to halt the Trump administration’s expansion of these dangerous junk plans.  It is imperative that the Senate immediately take up my legislation. I will continue to stand up and fight Republican efforts to take away comprehensive health coverage and increase health care costs – especially for my fellow Floridians and Americans with preexisting conditions.”

Castor sits on the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee, where she has oversight on federal health care initiatives, and helped to create the rules and standards in the ACA.

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