Senate Democrats Attempt to Raise Health-Care Prices, Limit Consumer Choice

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today voted to reject a Senate Democratic effort to unravel President Trump’s work to give states greater flexibility in administering mandates built into the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare).

The Senate voted 43-52 on Thursday to defeat a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn the Trump administration’s State Relief and Empowerment Waivers guidelines under Obamacare.

“State waivers for Obamacare’s mandates have proven effective in lowering health-care costs and expanding coverage options,” Wicker said. “Passage of this disapproval resolution would have reversed these positive reforms and made coverage less accessible to millions of Americans. I will continue working with my colleagues and the Trump administration to protect those with preexisting conditions and to make quality, affordable health insurance available to more of our fellow citizens.”

“States should have more flexibility to administer Obamacare programs, because we know that the one-size-fits-all mandates in that flawed law create very real and expensive problems for states and their citizens,” Hyde-Smith said. “The President’s guidelines preserve pre-existing conditions protections while helping states address the high cost of health care and tailor solutions for their populations.  The Democratic resolution is a political stunt that has nothing to do with helping the American people with pre-existing conditions. Instead of playing these games, Senate Democrats should be working with us to give Americans more affordable health insurance options within a healthcare system that works better for patients and families.”

In October 2018, the Trump administration issued State Relief and Empowerment Waivers guidelines regarding ACA Section 1332 to give states more flexibility and latitude to preserve consumer choice and lower premiums.  The administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirm that the guidance explicitly projects pre-existing conditions provisions in Obamacare.