Roll Call
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About The Keyvote

Introduced by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), S.J.Res. 52 targets guidance issued by the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Health and Human Services that made it easier for states to get “state innovation waivers” under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Trump administration has taken regulatory steps to provide more affordable private health insurance options through association health plans and short-term, limited-duration plans. In October 2018, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued guidance that further eases the process of applying for and receiving a waiver.

The October 2018 guidance focuses on the coverage that is made available on the exchanges by health insurance companies rather than what consumers had purchased. States must still meet statutory requirements to be eligible for a waiver, but the guidance explains that the comprehensiveness and affordability requirement may be considered met “if access to coverage that is as affordable and comprehensive as coverage forecasted to have been available in the absence of the waiver is projected to be available to a comparable number of people under the waiver.”

If an individual decides to purchase a more affordable, less comprehensive plan, the comprehensiveness and affordability requirement under Section 1332 will be met because there will be more comprehensive offerings on the exchanged that they could have opted to purchase.

The guidance issued by the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Health and Human Services is not a cure-all for the issues that America’s health insurance system faces. Much more has to be done to address these issues, particularly through the legislative process. Unfortunately, congressional Democrats aren’t interested in solutions; many want more government involvement and the elimination of private health insurance.