Statement from State Senator Gustavo Rivera on Trump’s Executive Action to Undermine the Affordable Care Act

“The Republican-controlled Senate has attempted to legislatively repeal the Affordable Care Act four times. They have failed each time. Despite these categorical defeats, the Trump administration appears to be dead set on stripping low and middle income Americans from quality and affordable healthcare. 

Over the last 24 hours and through executive action, Trump has taken two dangerous steps trying to unwind parts of the Affordable Care Act. The first calls for the expansion of the so-called association health plans and short-term insurance plans; less regulated health plans that, while cheaper, provide less comprehensive health services. Vulnerable Americans, such as those suffering from pre-existing health conditions, will have to make the agonizing decision of choosing from health insurance plans that either cover fewer benefits or charge higher deductibles. 

Furthermore, the White House decided to halt federal cost-sharing reduction (CSRs) payments for health insurance companies participating in the exchanges offered by the Affordable Care Act. The halting of these CSRs payments, which total $7 billion just this year, will inevitably raise premiums for middle-income families across the country. In New York, this reckless action will not only create an urgent fiscal crisis in its immediate impact but, more importantly, it will put the health insurance coverage of thousands of New Yorkers in jeopardy. Trump and Republicans promised to make healthcare more affordable and accessible. These actions do the opposite and as a consequence many hard working Americans will be left uninsured. 

I applaud and fully support the decision by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to join 19 Democratic Attorney Generals in filing a lawsuit to block the Trump administration's attempt to halt CSRs. His leadership is what our State and our country needs as we continue fighting to protect our health care. 

As the Ranking Member of the New York State Health Committee, I remain committed in my efforts to ensure that every New Yorker, regardless of their personal wealth, has access to affordable and quality healthcare. That's why I will continue engaging in conversation with my colleagues in both chambers in order to pass the New York Health Act and make New York a state where your wealth does not determine your access to health."