March 13, 2018 - SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined a coalition of 17 Attorneys General in sending a letter opposing the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed regulations that would remove crucial consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The protections in jeopardy would prevent discrimination based on age, gender or health status. Attorney General Becerra calls on the Administration to withdraw the ill-conceived regulations. The proposed rules would extend unprecedented power to employers to group together as Association Health Plans (AHPs) to evade ACA benefits requirements and disrupt the health insurance markets. The result: higher premiums and reduced coverage for consumers.
“All Americans deserve access to quality healthcare,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The Department of Labor’s proposal would take us in the opposite direction. It would make it easier to deny Americans access to essential healthcare by allowing insurers to offer junk health plans which exclude critical coverage and benefits for consumers. The Trump Administration continues to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. My fellow Attorneys General and I will do all we can to protect consumers’ access to guaranteed, quality health care.”
In their letter, the Attorneys General argue that the proposed rule would erode key protections under the ACA and leave consumers susceptible to fraud by rolling back decades’ worth of regulations on AHPs. The letter asserts that the proposed rules not only undermine the ACA, but also allow insurance companies to underinsure or deny coverage to consumers by granting the federal government authority over a function that has been performed by states for many years.
In submitting the comment letter, Attorney General Becerra joins the Attorneys General of New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Vermont.
Source: CA. DOJ