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Senator Lankford Opposes Resolution to Reverse State Flexibility for Obamacare

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today voted to oppose a Senate-Democrat-backed Resolution of Disapproval that would have reversed Trump Administration policy guidelines concerning section 1332 State Innovation Waivers for certain Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plan requirements. Oklahoma is not one of the states seeking a section 1332 waiver. However, the 13 states that received waivers saw their health insurance premium costs decrease by anywhere from six to 30 percent. The guidance on waivers under section 1332 of the ACA maintains protections for people with pre-existing conditions while allowing states to experiment with coverage options to best meet the unique needs of their residents.

“Today’s vote to oppose this resolution ensures we continue to give states flexibility to determine the most affordable healthcare options for their citizens while still covering pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits, despite what some in the news are saying,” said Lankford. “I find it odd that this week Senate Democrats seek to restrict affordable healthcare options and last week sought to reinstate a tax break that would only help the wealthiest one percent of Americans. I am glad the Senate voted today—as we did last week—to support Oklahomans and Americans rather than reverting to previous damaging policies that hurt families and restrict affordable health options. Allowing states the flexibility to provide better and more affordable health care should be encouraged, not discouraged. One-size-fits-all Washington control over health care is not the best option.”

On March 13, 2017, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent letters to our nation’s governors to indicate the Administration’s guidelines on how the waiver program could be administered in new ways to help states expand options for health plans. On October 24, 2018, the Administration updated those regulations to further expand waivers and help states continue to navigate through additional plan options that serve specific needs within those states.