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Trump Proposes Easing Rules on Cheaper Health Insurance

by Countable | 2.21.18

What’s the story?

The Trump administration proposed expanding the availability of short-term, cut-rate health insurance plans that don’t have to adhere to the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections.

Why does it matter?

The new regulation would allow people to purchase short-term plans for up to a year, rather than the three months previously allowed. Unlike Obamacare policies, these plans aren’t required to cover pre-existing conditions and "essential health benefits" such as maternity care, mental health care, or addiction treatment.

"Americans need more choices in health insurance so they can find coverage that meets their needs," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters. “The status quo is failing too many Americans who face skyrocketing costs and fewer and fewer choices.”

Health care advocates didn’t share Azar’s enthusiasm.

"The Trump administration should stop hurting people with pre-existing conditions, stop pushing skimpy plans, and stop raising costs up for millions of Americans. They must call off this harmful proposal," Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement.

What do you think?

Do you support expanding the availability of low-cost, low-coverage health insurance? Or do you agree with the Democrats who’ve branded it a return to "junk insurance"? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: baona / iStock)

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Written by Countable

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(59)
  • Chuck
    02/21/2018
    ···

    You get what you pay for. Maybe cheaper but basically worthless for quality healthcare. The majority of Americans like what Obamacare did to improve healthcare. yet republicans still are trying to destroy it basically out of spite. The only way to ensure quality care for all is to vote in a Democratic majority.

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  • Chickie
    02/22/2018
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    If #45 and the GOP are fond of this junk, scant insurance plan, let them use it! This type of plan kicks real people to the curb. No preexisting conditions, no basic medical coverage...STOP shoving us unrealistic Jack-in-the Box Healthcare Plans that you wouldn’t even give to your worst enemy. The GOP are eager to fulfill The Wall promise made by #45. including hefting $20+ billion on the taxpayer. I suggest bipartisan representatives to work together with a fair representation of a group of Americans to draft a healthcare plan. The plan will include insurance company and pharmaceutical companies funding an equal part of the premiums. These two groups have long taken money from us and have given millions of dollars to representatives to gain the favor of their vote. It is about time our representatives, which includes #45, fulfill their job description, represent US!

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  • Donna
    02/21/2018
    ···

    This administration should stop screwing with the ACA for petty self-interest reasons and focus on solutions to the actual causes of the health insurance crisis - high health care costs. Allowing insurance companies to sell low-cost plans does not solve the problem. What does a 'consumer' do when he is covered by a low-cost, bare-bones policy and receives a cancer diagnosis? Or has a heart-attack? Or has a stroke? Or has a child wounded by an assault rifle at a school or concert or church or movie theater? Anyone believing that will never happen to them is fooling themselves. You may spend less money on the insurance side but be forced into bankruptcy when the unknowable and unthinkable happens because your policy does not cover any of the costs you may incur. The ACA is not perfect. It needs to be fixed to lower premiums, deductibles and out of pocket expenses for the 7% of Americans who rely on the exchanges for insurance. Undercutting the LAW and pretending all healthcare issues are a direct result of the ACA is the biggest lie this administration (and the GOP) is telling the American public. Fixing the root cause - the astronomical rates we are charged for basic HEALTH CARE in this country - would actually be a cause worth pursuing. Nothing the administration or the GOP has done to date even begins to address that issue. In fact, their actions reward the high costs and profits of the medical industry at the expense of the rest of us. Either leave the LAW alone or FIX IT. Undercutting it helps no one but the self-absorbed, irrationally anti-Obama president who is lucky enough to have no use for the health insurance industry he is screwing with. That is good for him - and bad for the people he was elected to serve.

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  • Ureeka
    02/21/2018
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    Great! Give the American public more options for health care coverage so we can buy what we need and no more. Everyone wins... except the the raging liberals of course!

    Like (13)
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  • Rob
    02/21/2018
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    This is a travesty. How about we as tax payers stop funding politicians golden medical coverage so we can afford our own quality coverage. This rule is a throw everybody under the bus plan while hoping the bus kills us so they don’t have to worry about the blowback. These people if you can call them that are spoiled privileged and non-humanitarian.

    Like (11)
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  • Coty
    02/21/2018
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    Insurance companies should be allowed to offer minimal coverage for a minimal price. Or offer a la carte services. Demanding everyone buy everything, especially when they don’t need it, drives up the costs for everyone. Allow the free market to work, and while you’re at it, allow insurance companies to sell across state lines without a building in that state. Allow consumers to try untested life-saving medicine as a last resort. Allow transparency. Allow doctors to charge you directly without the middle man. Get the government OUT OF HEALTHCARE!

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  • JTJ
    02/21/2018
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    I’m a small biz owner who lost his insurance due to Obamacare. This is an option that may work for me but the Dems don’t want me to have it. But they want me to keep paying the penalty to pay for theirs. Democrats are selfish jerks.

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  • Karan
    02/21/2018
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    You guys think your precious Obamacare is so damn perfect and that any changes to it will destroy the market. Here’s a fact for your privileged asses. There are families struggling to pay their insurance bills under Obamacare. 80% of the benefits that Obamacare requires in each plan aren’t even used by people! It just drives up prices.

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  • Leon
    02/21/2018
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    More competition and deregulation is what is needed.

    Like (8)
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  • Sara
    02/21/2018
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    As usual, comments about an issue that are based on emotions and no fact. Single payer healthcare is not the answer. It sounds good on paper, but has many inherent problems. And, someone still has to pay for it. ACA is clearly not the answer as who in their right mind would want government control over their health and life. The ACA was thrust on people through a series of lies by our former President, so there are less doctors and more people without coverage (unless of course they are on government insurance).

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  • SneakyPete
    02/21/2018
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    It’s amazing in seeing that regardless what OUR President says or proposes, the Democrats and its followers will complain or find faults with his proposals. See DACA which they had the WHITE HOUSE for eight years and now are not willing or able to conduct a non-political driven discussion resulting in a compromised solution. The same is applicable to the gun control and health care issues. No willingness to come up with a compromise solution marrying ideas from both sides of the political isle. We’re seeing the Democratic Leadership including Senator Schumer, Representative Pelosi and the DNC just sitting on their behinds hoping that their base voters will remain true to their lacking political agenda. I’m afraid 😱 that the 2028 Mid-Term election cycle is going to be a failure for the Democrats from the local to Federal level. 2*20*18.

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  • Jose
    02/22/2018
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    Another horrible proposal from the party that could care less about giving people meaningful health coverage. Giving people the option of purchasing cheap and limited health coverage is a lame attempt to be seen as doing something about a serious problem in our society that is only going to get worse. It falls far short. It rewards those who have good health and penalizes those with health issues and pre-existing conditions. It also doesn’t acknowledge how health insurance markets work, in that permitting such a la carte plans removes healthy people from the general insurance pool, leaving those populations to carry huge premiums they can’t afford. Republicans have been trying to destroy the ACA but the fact is they cannot come up with anything better, not do they want to.

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  • Michael
    02/22/2018
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    You guys who support Trump need to really evaluate things before you think he’s going to save Healthcare. Is Obamacare perfect? No it is not but the institutions and protections it has created for patients has been a step in the right direction. What was in place before Obamacare? Nothing!!!! And Trump also said he would fight the war on the Opioid Crisis but not one penny has been used to combat the problem with the pharmaceutical companies making billions off the American taxpayer and addicted patients. Why is it that we are one of the few countries that has the highest prices on prescription drugs?

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  • Ruth
    02/22/2018
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    I am a nurse who has worked on the front lines for 40 years, recently retired. All lower cost policies do is funnel money into insurance companies who then provide very little service. In fact they are not low cost. They don’t cover enough to encourage routine healthcare. We would then see these people in the ER because they had no where else to go. Unfortunately now they were so sick either acutely or with chronic illness and end organ damage they in effect had no coverage. To say let the buyer beware is a travesty. It is not like these insurance policies are easy to understand. Healthcare providers have an army of staff to interpret these policies. These policies are a scam. Obamacare has flaws but it was better than what is being proposed. It needed improvement not dismantling piece by piece.

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  • Bernie
    02/21/2018
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    You get what you CAN pay for. As opposed to Obamacare which has unaffordable premiums, high deductibles and limited choices.

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  • Jeanne
    02/21/2018
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    To quote John: “I can hear the television ads and see the internet spiels now: “Health Care $99.95” Small print exclusions, the whole thing. Have some big tv stars recommend it. Wow will they make money. People will think they have health insurance until something happens, then the uncontrolled bills will come. Yes you’ll have choice, the choice to get fleeced. I’ve seen this before. ACA was not the solution but neither is this. It’s not like buying a car. You aren’t buying an economy car level (minor injury or flu), vs a luxury car level (cancer, heart attack, Lou Gehrig’s disease). All will still use the services. Somehow, the system will either have to pay for it or ration it.”

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  • Drew
    02/21/2018
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    Conveniently, Countable provides a single quote, and it is in blatant opposition. They’re quite aware 75% of the users bleed dem, and I get it- all apps need ratings boosts!

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  • PaxAmericana
    02/21/2018
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    #Draintheswamp

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  • Andrew
    02/21/2018
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    Many of you don’t understand what universal healthcare is and never will, even Obama Care doesn’t cover people the way they need it. Germany and the UK have had systems in place and have been trying to perfect it for generations, and yet it still fails to give their citizens even the most basic health care. Go to a hospital in Germany for a sore testicle and you will be barraged with us less tests and scans so they can milk tax dollars, and mostly they don’t fix the issue. So quit bitching about healthcare and get a job and make money so we can all return our medical system and care to be the best in the world. Don’t try and make it cheap by giving it away to people who have never and will never have a job and help support society! We can take care of sick and hurt people, but homless people and lazy people shouldn’t share in the same care as people who actually have always worked or served their country

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  • Leslie
    02/22/2018
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    Obamacare is useless and not affordable, so let's try something else!

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