Thompson Criticizes Freedom Caucus Plan to Hike Premiums for Sick Americans and Gut Essential Health Benefits
Washington – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) released the following statement opposing an amendment endorsed by the Freedom Caucus and introduced by Rep. Tom MacArthur that would let states greenlight dramatic premium increases for sick Americans and gut essential health benefits like coverage of prescription drugs, mental health services, hospitalization, and other key services.
“Once again, the Republicans are moving to gut our healthcare system rather than improve it,” said Thompson. “This amendment does nothing to restore care for the 24 million Americans projected to lose coverage if the bill passes. In fact, by allowing insurers to raises premiums on Americans who are or ever have been sick, we could see millions more priced out of the market. This amendment is catastrophic—and Republicans know it. That’s why they made sure House Republicans and their staffs are exempt from the changes. If it’s not good enough for Members of Congress, it’s not good enough for the people we represent.”
The MacArthur amendment would modify the Republicans’ previously proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the plan would cause 24 million Americans to lose their health insurance by 2026.
This amendment could increase the number of Americans without insurance even further by allowing insurers to raise premiums for those with pre-existing conditions. It would also allow states to deny consumer protections and essential health services, forcing Americans to pay more for less coverage.