Democrats on the energy and commerce committee on Wednesday announced plans to consider legislation striking down the Trump administration's changes to the Affordable Care Act.
Health subcommittee Chairwoman Anna Eshoo announced a hearing to be held next week to reverse what her office described as "sabotage" of the ACA -- popularly known as Obamacare.
"Healthcare was the single most important issue to voters in the 2018 election, yet the Affordable Care Act is still under attack nearly ten years after the landmark bill was signed into law," she said during a separate hearing Wednesday on the impacts of a Texas federal judge's December ruling calling the ACA unconstitutional.
Eshoo said the subcommittee would hear proposals on reversing the administration's expansion of short-term limited duration plans, which she described as "junk insurance plans."
Short-term plans are typically transitional coverage used in stop-gap situations like time between jobs or school semesters. Under the ACA, people could keep such coverage for a maximum of three months. The Trump administration expanded the plans to 12 months as an alternative to full ACA coverage.
The short-term plans don't offer the same protections or benefits. For example, insurers can turn down people with pre-existing conditions, like diabetes, cancer or substance abuse treatment.
Next week's hearing also will consider legislation to restore funding for ACA enrollment outreach and to overturn the administration's guidance on waivers allowing states to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.
A Gallup poll released Jan. 23 said about 13.7 percent of U.S. adults went without medical insurance in the fourth quarter of 2018, the highest rate since before the ACA took effect in 2014. President Donald Trump campaigned on the promise to kill former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare policy and since taking office in 2017, has cut funding to the program and killed the mandate that required Americans to have health insurance.
The percentage of uninsured adults under 35 jumped from 16.8 percent at the end of 2016 to 21.6 percent at the end of 2018. Adults making less than $24,000 a year make up the highest percentage of uninsured, as 25.4 percent not having coverage. Adults making between $24,000 to $48,000 a year were next, with 19.1 percent uninsured.