Coalition Letter on H.R. 987: Please Don’t Eliminate Affordable Health Coverage Options

By at 16 May, 2019, 10:56 am


Dear Member of the U.S. House:

High health care costs and lack of health coverage choices remain a big issue of concern for many Americans.  Thankfully, steps have been taken to improve affordability and choice and to remove some of the costly and unfair provisions in Obamacare.  Still, much work needs to be done to advance market-driven approaches that lower costs and improve access for health care consumers.

Unfortunately, key regulatory improvements that have been made by the Administration are under attack in Congress.  Specifically, as part of the “Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act” (H.R. 987) expected to be voted on by the House today, action will be taken to repeal a favorable Department of Labor (DOL) rule that made short-term, limited duration health plans a more practical option for American families, workers and entrepreneurs.  The provision would prevent the DOL from taking “any action to implement, enforce, or otherwise give effect to the rule” and stop the federal government from promulgating a similar rule.

This means that many Americans who cannot afford expensive health coverage as a result of Obamacare would be denied an affordable option when they need transitional coverage and financial flexibility the most.

Rescinding the improvements to short-term plans would be a big mistake for people who desperately need affordable coverage at crucial periods in their lives.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis found that 500,000 people will go uninsured if the DOL rule is reversed. The CBO also estimates another 500,000 would be forced to purchase non-group coverage at Obamacare prices (read: more expensive health insurance). In sum, approximately 1.5 million fewer people will purchase short-term plans “each year over the 2020-2029 period,” according to CBO.

Who wins when people are denied health coverage? Only the politicians who want to save every single line of Obamacare, no matter the costs.

The record under Obamacare is not a good one. Costs skyrocketed, access to choice in coverage dramatically decreased, and millions of Americans still lack health insurance. Yet some in Washington want to mandate every aspect of our health care system, and dictate what they think is best. One-size-fits-all does not work for most Americans.

Short-term, limited duration plans fill an important need in the marketplace, particularly when individuals and their families need coverage during career and work changes.  Many more people are cycling between full-time jobs and “gig” work, or going back to school to obtain a needed skill, and temporary health insurance plans provide health coverage at a reasonable cost.  Our regulatory system must take into account how people currently work, how they want to work if they have major life changes, or if they want to start a business. Insurance choices, like transitional health plans, provide Americans with the flexibility they need when there is a break in coverage, have a need for bridge coverage, or to pursue their dream of opening a business.

When H.R. 987 reaches the floor for a vote, we urge you to consider the impact this provision will have on increasing the ranks of the uninsured and denying Americans an affordable, flexible health coverage option.

Americans want affordable health care solutions, not expensive one-size-fits all health plans mandated by Congress or federal bureaucrats.


Karen Kerrigan

President & CEO

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council


Jessica Anderson

Vice President

Heritage Action for America.


Adam Brandon




Doug Badger

Senior Fellow

Galen Institute


Lisa Nelson


ALEC Action


Grover Norquist


Americans for Tax Reform


Andrew F. Quinlan


Center for Freedom and Prosperity


Pete Sepp


National Taxpayers Union


Grace-Marie Turner


Galen Institute


David Williams


Taxpayers Protection Alliance

*Organizations and titles are listed for identification purposes only.


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