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As House Republicans Schedule Vote to Codify ICHRAs, Keep US Covered Urges President to Act and Stop Threat of Health Discrimination

In letter to President Biden, KUC highlights urgent need to rescind ICHRA policy in light of House Republicans’ rapid effort to codify Trump-era rule 

Thursday, June 15, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Keep US Covered (KUC), joined by its seven campaign partners representing patients, health care providers, and businesses, today sent a letter to President Biden highlighting increased urgency to rescind the Trump-era ICHRA policy following legislative action by House Republicans who are moving rapidly to pass the CHOICE Arrangement Act (H.R. 3799). The bill would enable discrimination in the workplace by codifying and expanding the regulation that created ICHRAs. 

This follows advancement of the legislation at a House Ways and Means Committee markup last week, underscoring the pressing need for the President to rescind this regulation, protect health equity, and prevent health discrimination in the workplace. 

 

The letter states, “You continue to have the power to not just stop this bill, but to undo the dangerous policy it is attempting to codify. ICHRA plans invite discrimination into the workplace and threaten the stability of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, jeopardizing the progress our country has made to improve health care access, affordability, and equity. This harmful policy exacerbates health disparities by enabling some employers to cherry pick employee populations – dividing workers into classes, shifting costs onto other businesses, and abandoning those who are more costly and often the most vulnerable.”

Fortunately, the Biden Administration still has the power to not just stop this legislation but to end the policy it seeks to codify. The groups note that more than two years ago, through Executive Order 14009, President Biden made a promise to review and potentially rescind the deeply flawed ICHRA policy, which remains in place today and is antithetical to his health equity and coverage goals. They go on to highlight that without swift executive action, the policy allowing health discrimination will remain in place at the expense of American workers and their families.

 

Following KUC’s statement last week on Republicans’ draft legislation, Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee attempted to amend the bill to guard against discrimination and criticized the dangerous effects of the ICHRA policy. However, Republicans defeated the amendment and advanced the bill on a party-line vote. The bill is now slated for a vote of the full House.

 

The time for the Biden Administration to act is now. 

 

The letters, organized by KUC, are signed by a broad coalition of voices who fight for access to affordable health care:

 
A copy of the letter can be found 
here.
 
To learn more about KUC and its partners’ work to educate policymakers on ICHRAs, STLDI, and the social determinants of health, visit 
KeepUSCovered.org or follow the campaign on Twitter and Facebook.

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About Keep US Covered: Keep US Covered is a campaign committed to protecting and expanding quality health coverage and improving care for working Americans. Vast disparities in the American health care system continue to undermine access to quality care for too many. Our mission is to promote public policy changes that preserve equity in workplace health benefits and ensure health coverage delivers for people when they need it, beginning with the reversal of harmful and potentially discriminatory policies put in place during the previous administration, including Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs) and the dramatic expansion of short-term limited duration insurance (STLDI). We also seek to broaden our national health care conversation to better account for the many factors that lead to health disparities. By reversing policies that threaten to disrupt coverage for working people and focusing on the societal challenges that impact health, we can make our health care system stronger for all Americans.

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