Washington, D.C. – Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said “to celebrate Halloween, Senate Democrats have come up with a scary fairytale without an ounce of truth.”
Alexander made his remarks today on the Senate floor before Democrats tried unsuccessfully to block the Trump Administration from giving states more flexibility to offer affordable health insurance—known as a Section 1332 waiver that was created as part of the Affordable Care Act. The Senate rejected the Democrat effort by a vote of 52-43.
Alexander continued: “Democrats are trying to trick Americans into thinking that giving states the ability to lower health insurance premiums could somehow undermine protections for pre-existing conditions, something federal law does not permit.”
“What we mean by protections for pre-existing conditions is that every American can buy health insurance, their pre-existing condition must be covered, and they can’t be charged more if they are sick. The way 1332 waivers work is that if someone gets helped, others can’t get hurt. In fact, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma has been clear that if a state applied for a 1332 waiver that changed the protections for pre-existing conditions, she would not approve it.”
Alexander concluded: “In other words, if a state like Iowa figures out new ways to help more people afford health insurance, Iowans cannot lose access to health insurance that covers pre-existing conditions along the way. Democrats should allow states to use the flexibility created by Obamacare to lower premiums and help millions of Americans have access to more affordable health insurance.”
Read Chairman Alexander’s prepared floor speech here.