Miss. Senators Back Bill to End Individual, Employer Mandates; Transition for Current Obamacare Enrollees

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today announced their support for legislation to establish a process to address health insurance for Americans should the U.S. Supreme Court rule that parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, are unconstitutional.

Cochran and Wicker are original cosponsors of the Preserving Freedom and Choice in Health Care Act (S.1016), which would provide a bridge health care plan option for individuals and families if the Supreme Court ruling on King v. Burwell results in the cancellation of tax subsidies for health care plans purchased on the federal exchange. The measure, introduced by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), is intended to fight the federal government’s health care overreach and restore stability and certainty in the insurance marketplace.

“This bill is a reasonable step toward allowing families and individuals, not the Obama administration, to make the health care decisions that are best for them,” Cochran said. “It would also provide certainty for those who have purchased a plan in the exchange while the Congress seeks to find a long-term solution to fully replace the Affordable Care Act.”

“Americans currently receiving subsidies should not abruptly lose their coverage,” Wicker said. “This bill would help prevent innocent people from being harmed simply because they relied on the Administration’s unlawful actions. The American people have already suffered enough from the law’s skyrocketing premiums, canceled plans, and website glitches.”

In the event of a King v. Burwell decision that rules that patients enrolled in the federal exchange are not eligible for federal tax credits, the Preserving Freedom and Choice in Health Care Act would allow anyone who would lose their tax credits to continue receiving the subsidy through August 2017 for any offered health plan of their choice. Additionally, the legislation would end Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations by repealing both the employer and individual mandates which would allow for states to determine insurance coverage and benefit requirements, effectively removing the most burdensome regulations imposed by the flawed 2010 law.

Thirty-one Senators have cosponsored the legislation, which has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.