News Releases

Senator Murray outlines how President Trump’s rule that went into effect last week gives insurance companies more power to sell junk insurance plans and ignore protections for people with pre-existing conditions 

Democrats have led the charge against President Trump’s efforts to undermine health care by trying to gut protections, refusing to defend the protections in court, and expanding junk plans

Republican gimmick claiming to protect coverage of pre-existing conditions would still allow insurers to discriminate based on age and sex

Senator Murray: “Where are my Republican colleagues, who have claimed to care so much about this issue, but have done so little to fight for it? …If Republicans are serious about standing for people with pre-existing conditions, then they will join us to pass this bill and actually fight for them”

AP: Trump’s short-term health plans are cheaper but cover less – MORE HERE

***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH HERE***

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate health committee, slammed President Trump and Republicans for claiming they support protections for people with pre-existing conditions while continuing to push an agenda that undermines those protections President Trump’s junk plans rule, which went into effect last week, gives insurance companies more power to sell short-term limited duration insurance—“junk plans” which are not required to cover people with pre-existing conditions and can exclude basic health services including emergency care, mental health, prescription drugs, treatment for substance use, and maternity care. On the Senate floor, Senator Murray gave several examples where Democrats stepped up against efforts from President Trump to weaken pre-existing condition protections. She called on Republicans to do the same by supporting the resolution against the junk plans rule.

“Now President Trump is undermining these protections through his junk plans rule. And Democrats are once again leading the charge against him with the resolution before us today. And where are my Republican colleagues, who have claimed to care so much about this issue, but have done so little to fight for it?” said Senator Murray. “So far they’ve offered empty promises and gimmicks, like a bill they claim protects people with pre-existing conditions—but actually still allows insurance companies to discriminate based on age and sex. If Republicans are serious about standing for people with pre-existing conditions, then they will join us to pass this bill and actually fight for them. I’m not holding my breath they will do that, but I’m not giving up either.”

A vocal critic of Trump’s repeated efforts to sabotage health care by working to undermine patient protections and raise consumer costs, Senator Murray has taken meaningful action to lower health care costs and defend patient protections, including leading the charge to pass bipartisan legislation to reduce health care premiums and out-of-pocket costs for patients—legislation that Republicans have repeatedly blocked. In addition to those efforts, in recent months Senator Murray has worked specifically to halt President Trump’s proposal to expand use of these junk insurance plans, urging top Trump cabinet officials in April and June to postpone finalization of the rule and to instead work with lawmakers to make high-quality health care more affordable for all families. Senator Murray has also traveled extensively in Washington state and heard from countless patients, families, medical professionals and community leaders about the critical need to protect high-quality, affordable health care coverage.

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s floor speech

“[President Trump’s] decision to expand junk insurance plans actually gives insurance companies even more power to sell plans that ignore protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It gives insurance companies even more power to discriminate based on age or sex. It gives insurance companies even more power to avoid covering important medical needs like emergency care, maternal care, mental health care, and prescription drugs. This rule even lets insurance companies spend less money on patients directly, and more money on excessive administrative costs and executive bonuses.”

“A lot of Republicans are claiming to stand for protections for pre-existing conditions. However, when you compare how Democrats are fighting for these protections, and how Republicans are undermining them, the difference is as clear as night and day.”

“Now President Trump is undermining these protections through his junk plans rule. And Democrats are once again leading the charge against him with the resolution before us today. And where are my Republican colleagues, who have claimed to care so much about this issue, but have done so little to fight for it? So far they’ve offered empty promises and gimmicks, like a bill they claim protects people with pre-existing conditions—but actually still allows insurance companies to discriminate based on age and sex. If Republicans are serious about standing for people with pre-existing conditions, then they will join us to pass this bill and actually fight for them. I’m not holding my breath they will do that M. President, but I’m not giving up either.”

Watch video of Senator Murray’s floor speech HERE.

Full text of Senator Murray’s floor speech:

“Thank you M. President.

“I come to the floor today to support Senator Baldwin’s resolution to overturn President Trump’s junk plans rule.

“Since day one, President Trump has been relentless in his efforts to sabotage health care for people across the nation. He has worked to drive up costs. He has worked to give power back to big insurance companies. And despite his recent campaign promise to fight for people with pre-existing conditions, almost every single step he’s taken has been in the opposite direction.

“President Trump’s awful junk plans rule which went into effect last week is just the latest example.

“His decision to expand junk insurance plans actually gives insurance companies even more power to sell plans that ignore protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“It gives insurance companies even more power to discriminate based on age or sex. It gives insurance companies even more power to avoid covering important medical needs like emergency care, mental health care, prescription drugs, and even maternity care. This rule even lets insurance companies spend less money on patients directly, and more money on excessive administrative costs and executive bonuses.

“This new rule shows how empty President Trump’s promises are when it comes to pre-existing conditions.

“And it’s not just President Trump. A lot of Republicans are claiming to stand for protections for pre-existing conditions. However, when you compare how Democrats are fighting for these protections, and how Republicans are undermining them, the difference is as clear as night and day.

“When President Trump tried to pass his Trumpcare bill and undermine pre-existing condition protections, Democrats stood with families across the country and fought tirelessly to stop that awful bill. However, most of our Republican colleagues championed it.

“When President Trump’s Justice Department chose to abandon these protections in court against the Republican-led lawsuit to strike them down, Democrats rallied around a bill to let the Senate join the lawsuit and defend protections for pre-existing conditions. However not a single Republican joined in that effort.

“Now President Trump is undermining these protections through his junk plans rule. And Democrats are once again leading the charge against him with the resolution before us today. And where are my Republican colleagues, who have claimed to care so much about this issue, but have done so little to fight for it?

“So far they’ve offered empty promises and gimmicks, like a bill they claim protects people with pre-existing conditions—but actually still allows insurance companies to discriminate based on age and sex.

“If Republicans are serious about standing for people with pre-existing conditions, then they will join us to pass this bill and actually fight for them.

“I’m not holding my breath they will do that, but I’m not giving up either.

“Democrats are going to keep fighting for people across the country with pre-existing conditions. We are going to keep fighting for cancer patients and survivors. We are going to keep fighting for people living with diabetes, arthritis, and other chronic diseases. We are going to keep fighting for women who are pregnant, for seniors who are facing the health challenges of old age, and for so many other families who might not be able to get the care they need without protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“And finally, I want to thank Senator Baldwin for her leadership on this effort.

“I know this fight is personal to her—like it is to so many families across the country—and I’m grateful to have her leading the charge. 

“Thank you.”