WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) joined colleagues in introducing a new resolution in support of a health care bill of rights, in response to yesterday’s oral arguments in the Texas v. United States lawsuit. The Trump administration is pushing the court to throw out the entire Affordable Care Act – a decision that would rip health care away from an estimated 20 million or more Americans.
A decision undoing the ACA would also eliminate the patient protections established by the law, including the right for patients with preexisting conditions to obtain coverage, the right for young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plans through age 26, and the right for women to obtain coverage without facing gender discrimination on pricing. During the process of passing the landmark health care law, Senator Cardin advocated successfully for the inclusion of a strong patients’ bill of rights. This resolution supports retaining those critical patient protections as a “health care bill of rights” for all Americans.
“The Trump Administration’s continued efforts to end health care for millions of Americans are bankrupt of all sense and morality,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee. “This resolution sends a clear message that Congress stands by the basic health care rights established by the ACA for every American.”
Among other rights, the health care bill of rights supports Americans’:
- Right to coverage of essential health benefits with no annual or lifetime limits;
- Right to stay on a parent’s health care plan through age 26;
- Right to keep coverage after getting sick;
- Right to health insurance coverage regardless of preexisting conditions or health status;
- Right to free preventive services, such as cancer screenings and annual wellness exams;
- Right to mental health and substance abuse coverage; and
- Right to obtain health care and insurance coverage free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), age, disability, or documentation status.
Senator Cardin has actively opposed this administration’s efforts to undercut the ACA. In February, he introduced legislation to stop proposals to give leeway to “junk” health care plans which don’t protect people with pre-existing conditions. On the first legislative day of this Congress, Cardin led colleagues in reintroducing a legislative package composed of several common sense solutions to make the ACA work better for all Americans.
In this effort, Senator Cardin joined Senators Merkley (D-Ore.), Menendez (D-N.J.), Schatz (D-Hawaii), Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Shaheen (D-N.H.), Murphy (D-Conn.), Sanders (I-Vt.), Hassan (D-N.H.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Duckworth (D-Ill.), Brown (D-Ohio), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Warren (D-Mass.), and Markey (D-Mass.).
A copy of the full resolution can be found here.