Tom Price Wants To Bring Back ‘Junk Insurance’

A new poll this weekend showed that by more than a 2-to-1 margin — 50 percent to 24 percent — Americans prefer Obamacare to Republican replacement plans. And the latest plan could be the most unpopular of them all. The Senate health bill includes a new provision from Ted Cruz that would take us back to a time when insurers were able to sell bare-bones plans that would “cause major hardship, especially for middle-class people with serious medical problems” and that in an unprecedented letter, the insurance industry called “simply unworkable.”

On ABC’s This Week, HHS Secretary Tom Price said that insurance companies should “dust off how they did business before Obamacare.”

KARL: “But if you look at the Republican plan to modify it and replace it, more than 10 medical groups are against it. Thirty-two cancer organizations oppose it. And on Thursday, in a rare joint statement by the biggest insurance companies in the country, called the Cruz Amendment unworkable in any form and warned it would lead to, quote, ‘widespread terminations of coverage’.

“So, Dr. Price, why this wall of opposition?”

PRICE: “It's really perplexing, especially from the insurance companies, because all they have to do is dust off how they did business before Obamacare.”

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurers “sold policies so skimpy they could hardly be called coverage at all” and did not pay for essential medical care.

New York Times: “The new version of the bill released on Thursday incorporates an idea from Senator Ted Cruz of Texas that would permit insurers to market all types of plans as long as they offer ones that comply with Affordable Care Act standards. The measure would also allow companies to take into account people’s health status in determining whether to insure them and at what price. State insurance regulators say the proposal harks back to the days when insurance companies, even household names like Aetna and Blue Cross, sold policies so skimpy they could hardly be called coverage at all. Derided as ‘junk insurance,’ the plans had very low premiums but often came with five-figure deductibles. Many failed to pay for medical care that is now deemed essential.”