Democrats don’t want you to be able to buy more affordable health insurance under Obamacare, and they made that pretty clear with a recent Senate vote.
Here’s the background: Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., used a discharge petition to force a vote on a resolution that would have blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to expand access to more affordable short-term health care plans that don’t have to follow Obamacare’s onerous coverage regulations.
The Trump administration’s move to expand these plans naturally follows the fact that more and more Americans are having trouble affording health insurance under Obamacare (something even the left-leaning Vox admits), but the Republican-controlled Senate can’t scrounge up enough support from its moderate wing to repeal the law, as Republicans have campaigned on for years.
The vote failed Wednesday by only a single vote. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, joined with every Democrat to bring the final count to a 50-50 tie.
Here are some of the prevailing arguments against what Obamacare boosters like to call “junk insurance” or “junk plans”:
These junk plans bait consumers in with low prices but hardly cover anything. They could not cover maternity care, or mental health care, or prescription drugs, you name it. #NoJunkPlans
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) October 9, 2018
Junk plans allow insurance companies to deny health coverage for people based on a pre-existing condition.
They don’t have to cover maternity care or emergency room visits.
They aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.
Let’s tell Trump: #NoJunkPlans
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) October 10, 2018
— Senate Democrats (@SenateDems) October 11, 2018
And it’s worth noting President Trump’s new junk plans rule takes us in the wrong direction and gives insurance companies power to provide plans that don’t cover mental health services. #WorldMentalHealthDay
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) October 10, 2018
TODAY the GOP voted down a Dem bill to reverse the administration’s rollback of consumer protections. Trump’s "junk" plans—the Trump University of health insurance—deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, leaving them behind in a sicker pool with higher premiums.
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) October 11, 2018
Wait, you mean a more affordable insurance product might not offer the same amount of coverage as the astronomically expensive ones that working Americans are having trouble paying for? You don’t say.
The irony of this debate, of course, is that nobody is being forced to buy a short-term plan under this. But heaven forbid that we’d give free Americans the option to choose one of these short-term plans over the Obamacare-compliant plans that do all the things that made Obamacare so expensive in the first place.
By contrast, until the repeal of the individual mandate in last year’s tax cuts, people were absolutely forced to buy Obamacare-compliant plans, whether they wanted to (or could even afford it) or not.
Look, there are basically two arguments to be made against the administration’s move here: The guise of consumer protection or the preservation of Obamacare’s collapsing system.
The first says that you’re too stupid to make your own health care decisions and therefore should not have the freedom to. The second says that your health care decisions might undermine a sacred cow of American health care policy that can’t stand on its own, and you therefore shouldn’t have the freedom to find another option.
Neither of those arguments are going to hold up to many hardworking voters whose health insurance premiums match or surpass their mortgage payments.