Donald J. Trump
On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump issued a new health insurance rule that would roll back essential patient protections established by the Affordable Care Act, including important health benefit coverage requirements, according to a press release issued by ACP.
The new rule will increase the availability of association health plans for small businesses and individuals, according to ACP. This would allow small businesses to create health insurance plans that cut costs as well as benefits, according to the The New York Times, which also reported that the new plans may evade essential health benefits protected under ACA, including mental health care, emergency services, maternity and newborn care and prescription drugs.
New York Times reported that at the 75th anniversary celebration of the National Federation of Independent Business, Trump said to a crowd of small business owners, “You’re going to save massive amounts of money and have much better health care. It’s going to cost you much less.”
ACP noted that association health plans may be cheaper than existing options, but these savings are attained by offering fewer benefits and premiums based on age and gender. This will cause the destabilization of individual and small group insurance markets, thus reducing access to coverage and increasing premiums for millions of Americans, according to ACP.
Ana María López
“The consequences of this rule are clear: patients and consumers will have a difficult time finding coverage plans that meet their needs, patients would lose key essential health care protections put in place by the ACA, and, ultimately, this rule will result in yet another barrier in patients’ access to affordable, quality health care in the United States,” Ana María López, MD, MPH, president of ACP, said in the release. “ACP urges the administration to focus on policies that support patients’ health and well-being, not ones that deny patients the coverage they need the most.”
The final rule carries out an executive order that was signed by Trump in October 2017, according to The New York Times. – by Alaina Tedesco
Lopez is the president of ACP.