As Trump Administration Tries to Destroy Health Care Protections, Merkley and Senate Democrats Stand Up for Health Care Bill of Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today responded to the Trump administration’s attempts to rip health care away from tens of millions of Americans by introducing a new resolution supporting a “health care bill of rights” for all Americans.

Merkley was joined by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA).

In the lawsuit Texas v. United States, which is being heard in federal court today, the Trump administration is arguing for the courts to throw out the entire Affordable Care Act – a decision that would rip health care away from an estimated 20 million or more Americans. A decision undoing the ACA would also throw out the patient protections established by the law, including the right for patients with preexisting conditions to obtain coverage, the right for young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plans through age 26, and the right for women to obtain coverage without facing gender discrimination on pricing. Merkley’s resolution supports keeping those patient protections as a “health care bill of rights” for all Americans.

“I hold a town hall in each of Oregon’s counties, every year,” said Merkley. “From the reddest of red counties to the bluest of blue, Oregonians are united that we deserve a health care bill of rights. No one should be denied coverage or charged astronomical sums simply for having a preexisting condition. We need to protect the gains of the ACA and move forward with the understanding that health care is not a privilege—it’s a human right.”

Among other rights, the Merkley health care bill of rights supports Americans’:

  1. Right to coverage of essential health benefits with no annual or lifetime limits;
  2. Right to stay on a parent’s health care plan through age 26;
  3. Right to keep coverage after getting sick;
  4. Right to health insurance coverage regardless of preexisting conditions or health status;
  5. Right to free preventive services, such as cancer screenings and annual wellness exams;
  6. Right to mental health and substance abuse coverage; and
  7. Right to obtain health care and insurance coverage free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), age, disability, or documentation status.

A copy of the full resolution can be found here.