National Partnership for Women & Families

CMS’ Proposed Health Marketplaces Rule Would ‘Weaken Health Care Access,’ Ness Says

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — February 15, 2017 —

“While the proposed rule issued today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) states that it aims to improve the health and stability of the exchanges and increase affordability for consumers, in reality it would do neither. The hypocrisy is rich, given that the administration’s own actions have already been a destabilizing force, and given that the rule would shift more of the cost burden to consumers, make it more difficult for people to enroll in health coverage and put at risk people’s ability to access providers of their choice.

While the President has promised lower costs for better care, the proposed rule would reduce cost-sharing protections, leading to higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs for individuals, essentially weakening health care access for those who need it the most.

Rather than expanding enrollment and better balancing the risk pool, this proposal would create more barriers to enrollment by cutting the Open Enrollment period in half and adding new paperwork requirements.

The rule released today also proposes to diminish network adequacy standards, which are vitally important to assuring that people can access the doctors and care they need.   

Adding to the chaos of the Republicans’ destabilizing ‘repeal and delay’ strategy for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Trump administration’s proposed rule would give health plans more flexibility to provide lower-value care at higher cost. Women and families cannot afford to return to the days when insurers could deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, charge women more than men for the same coverage, raise rates without oversight, and spend millions on marketing and administration rather than on increasing the value of care. 

We strongly urge the Administration to prioritize preserving the coverage gains and protections people currently have under the ACA, as it considers comments to today’s proposed rule.”

Contact

Lauren Sogor (202) 986-2600 lsogor@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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