Foster Votes To Honor Promise, Support Efforts To Keep Existing Health Care Plans
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bill Foster voted in favor of H.R. 3350, the Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013 and released the following statement:
“I came to Congress to solve problems, and that is why I voted for a bipartisan fix to codify the President’s decision to allow insurance companies to continue to offer existing health care plans.
“I support the Affordable Care Act, and I also support efforts to improve the law to ensure more Americans have access to affordable health care. A promise was made to Americans that they’d be able to keep their health care plans and I think that promise should be kept. It’s that simple.
“While I believe the President’s decision to allow insurance companies to offer existing plans was a step in the right direction, I think we also need a legislative solution. I voted for this legislation because I believe that consumers should be able to keep the plans they currently have. However, I do not believe those plans, which don’t meet the health care guarantees, should be open for sale to new customers and will support that change as this legislation advances.
“If consumers are going to keep existing plans, I think it is important that they know what is in them, and what the difference is between those plans and the new coverage requirements. One of the problems we see is that people believe they are happy with their coverage - until they get sick or have an accident - and realize that their coverage doesn’t actually meet their needs, or their insurance gets cancelled soon after. Because of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies will no longer be able to drop your coverage when you get sick, deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions, or have lifetime caps.
“While the President’s solution and today’s legislation open the possibility for these insurance plans to continue, the crucial decision about whether to continue offering these plans now lies in the hands of the insurance companies. It will now be their decision to continue the plans they have been offering, or to cancel those plans and raise rates.”
Foster also supported the Democratic Alternative to H.R. 3350 that would give insurance companies the option to continue offering Affordable Care Act non-compliant plans though 2014 to current enrollees only, as long as those plans were in effect as of October 1, 2013.