The latest iteration of the Republican’s Senate bill for repealing and replacing the ACA includes a proposal designed to attract the support of more Republican Senators who have stood in opposition to the first version. The Cruz-Lee amendment would allow insurers to sell off cheap insurance plans that fall short of providing the essential benefits required by the ACA, just as long as the insurance companies offer at least one plan that meets the ACA requirements.
While these junk plans might have a smaller price tag, they don’t cover important and necessary costs for things like hospitalization, maternity care, mental health, preventative care, prescription drugs, and more. The amendment also allows insurers to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions, landing the nation back to the time when the people who needed care most couldn’t get it. Moreover, the market impact of these flimsy health care plans will result in rising costs for our sick, elderly, and disabled.
Instead of enacting transparent and substantive reforms to improve healthcare and expand coverage, Senate Republicans are cutting corners to pass a bill that’s merely a facade for tax cuts for the wealthiest.
For small businesses in the state of Washington, cutting corners isn’t an option. Small businesses invest in the communities we live and work in, create jobs, and enrich the quality of life for everyone. As such, small business owners want to provide affordable health care for their employees that truly works to keep them and their families healthy.
Instead, Senator Cruz and Senator Lee’s garbage plans gamble on the long term health of employees, as if wishful thinking and finger-crossing were the same as providing quality health care. Washington small businesses know we can’t go back on the progress made by the ACA. The health of our communities and local economies are far too important to gamble away.