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June 30, 2020

Senator King, Colleagues to Trump Administration: Don’t Rip Away Health Care for Millions During Pandemic

Senator cosponsors resolution critical of White House effort to invalidate Affordable Care Act, take away health care coverage from 107,000 Maine people

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today cosponsored a resolution with 46 colleagues condemning the Trump Administration’s “downright cruel” attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act through a Supreme Court challenge effort.  In the resolution, the Senators also demand the Department of Justice (DOJ) defend existing law in court and halt efforts to repeal the health care protections for millions nationwide – and 100,000 Maine people – in the middle of a public health emergency.

“I cannot understand why this administration is determined to take away healthcare for millions of Americans instead of focusing on expanding coverage,” said Senator King.  “This administration has done everything they can over the last three years to sabotage the law. The fact that it’s still working is a tribute to how important it is to people. They’ve shortened the enrollment period, they quit advertising, they defunded the people who help people get on the Affordable Care Act. To rip health insurance away from them in the middle of a pandemic, when people are losing their health insurance because they’re losing their jobs, is simply cruel.”

Last week, the DOJ and a group of Republican Attorneys General submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and pull the rug out from underneath the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions who depend on the law for health care coverage. If the Supreme Court agrees and overturns the ACA, 107,000 Maine people could lose coverage immediately, including the 36,000 Maine people enrolled through Medicaid expansion, and end protections for the tens of thousands of Maine people with pre-existing conditions.

The resolution urges DOJ to reverse its position and instead protect the millions of people who rely on the ACA for health care coverage amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has infected more than 2.5 million Americans and killed more than 125,000.

Senator King has pushed the government to quickly act to make sure Americans have access to the healthcare they need to stay healthy. Last week, he stated that the Trump Administration’s move to push the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act was “downright cruel”. Earlier this month, Senator King called for a bipartisan effort to increase the federal government’s share of Medicaid dollars as well as reduce premiums for individuals who are eligible for coverage in the ACA exchanges.  

In April, he pressed congressional leaders to make sure that any future coronavirus relief legislation included strong measures to secure healthcare coverage for Americans. Prior to that, he pushed the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to reopen the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplace to allow more un- and under-insured Americans to get health insurance as they face potential health issues related to coronavirus.

In March, he cosponsored bipartisan legislation that would extend a lifeline to rural hospitals and providers and the 60 million Americans who depend on them for health care by providing immediate financial relief, stabilize hospitals, and encourage hospital coordination. He has also urged the FCC to expand access to telehealth services in rural communities, and joined the Maine delegation to urge Secretary Azar to quickly distribute personal protective equipment to Maine.

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