Connolly Statement on H.R. 3350
Washington, DC, November 15, 2013
Congressman Connolly issued the following statement on H.R. 3350. Read more.
Today the House considered a bill introduced by Rep. Fred Upton deceptively titled the “Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013.” The bill actually does nothing to address the situation in which some individuals have had their coverage canceled by their insurance provider. Rather this bill would allow insurance companies to continue selling substandard insurance plans to anyone, even those who currently do not have any insurance, on the open market without the new benefits or protections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In contrast, President Obama has put forth a reasonable solution that extends the grandfathering provision of the law. Under that provision, insurance plans in place on March 23, 2010, the date the ACA was signed into law, are considered grandfathered. At issue now are those plans issued since then that do not meet the minimum standards of the ACA. This week, the President announced an extension of the grandfathering provisions that will empower insurance companies and state commissioners of insurance to allow those older plans to continue to be offered for one more year. If the insurance companies decide to continue offering those plans, they must notify all individuals who have received a cancellation notice and anyone else at risk of receiving one to inform them of their right to continue their previous coverage so long as the insurer discloses what benefits and protections – such as caps on premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, free preventive care, or guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions -- will not be provided. They also have to inform these individuals of their right to pursue new coverage that does include the wide range of consumer protections and reforms through the health insurance exchanges.
The reason I voted for and continue to support the ACA is precisely because of those consumer and patient protection reforms. We cannot allow Americans to be subjected to capricious cancellations, lifetime limits on their coverage, no coverage or unaffordable coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and higher premiums based on gender for the same basic coverage. Enrollment in the new insurance plans is increasing with each passing day along with reports of people being pleasantly surprised that they can in fact find insurance plans with premiums that are comparable to, or in many cases less than, their current coverage, and we expect that to continue.