10.30.19

Gardner Votes to Protect State Health Care Waivers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) released the following statement after Senate Democrats forced a vote on limiting states’ abilities to receive waivers through the Affordable Care Act’s Section 1332. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) granted Colorado a 1332 waiver in July of this year that lowered premium costs by more than 20 percent across the state and up to 34 percent on the Western Slope.  

“Today Washington Democrats tried to prevent choice and access in health care, because they think the American people aren’t smart enough to buy the health insurance that’s right for them,” said Senator Gardner. “This guidance maintains strong protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and I believe the American people should be able to choose more affordable plans that better fit their needs.”

Background:

  • Under the Obama Administration, there were restrictive regulations in place that limited the use of 1332 waivers.  
  • To ensure states are able to reduce costs and provide increased options, in October 2018, the Trump Administration put forth new guidance.  
    • This guidance maintains critical pre-existing condition protections.
  • In July 2019, Colorado’s application for a State Innovation waiver was approved by CMS after Gardner strongly supported this effort. Additionally, in May 2019, the entire Colorado congressional delegation wrote to the Departments of Treasury and Health and Human Services to request “full and fair consideration” for Colorado’s Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver application.
  • This month, Gardner applauded the announcement that health insurance premiums would drop an average of 20.2 percent on Colorado’s individual market, due to the reinsurance waiver Gardner helped secure for the state. 

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.