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California on Cusp of Banning Short-Term Health Coverage

State lawmakers in California are close to banning inexpensive, short-term health insurance plans backed by the Trump administration as a cheaper alternative to Obamacare.

State Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa, has urged California Gov. Jerry Brown, also a Democrat, to sign his legislation to ban the short-term health plans, which passed both houses of the Legislature.

Such coverage, used by about 10,000 Californians, is less expensive than Obamacare plans but doesn’t include “preventive care, essential health benefits, and protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“California is one step closer to banning junk health insurance,” Hernandez tweeted Aug. 22.

“This type of ‘care’ is dangerous,” the state lawmaker said. “I won’t let Californians go back to the days when we could be denied care completely or go into financial ruin. Ask Gov. Brown to sign #SB910 into law!”

Doug Badger, a visiting fellow in health policy at The Heritage Foundation, describes short-term health plans as “limited-duration insurance plans [that] provide many consumers with the choice of a policy they can afford—offering a lifeboat enabling them to escape Obamacare’s sinking ship.”

The plans, Badger said in a research paper, “offer broader choices of providers and lower premiums for people in good health than Obamacare policies.”

President Barack Obama’s administration permitted short-term insurance plans for three months, but the Trump administration lets insurers keep the plans for up to three years, The Sacramento Bee reported.

“These plans can bankrupt people,” Hernandez said. “They don’t have the protections of the Affordable Care Act. They’re junk. It’s a huge threat.”

States such as New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts prohibit plans that do not comply with Obamacare, The Sacramento Bee reported, but California would be the first state to enact a law explicitly prohibiting the sale of short-term policies.

Sally Pipes, president, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith fellow in health care studies at the Pacific Research Institute, said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal that California would harm its citizens if it outlaws the plans.

Read the full story from The Daily Signal

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