September 10, 2014

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I urge you to oppose H.R. 3522, introduced by Representative Bill Cassidy. This legislation would allow health insurers to continue offering coverage outside of the insurance marketplaces established by the health law even if those plans do not comply with its coverage requirements. In addition, the inferior plans that would be allowed to continue under Representative Cassidy’s bill discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, force women to pay more than men for the same coverage and impose annual caps on the amount of care received by enrollees.

We oppose H.R. 3522 because it would undercut the ability of the marketplace insurance plans to offer affordable health coverage because younger and healthier individuals would tend to enroll in the substandard plans preserved by Representative Cassidy’s legislation. Consequently, older and sicker individuals would remain in the comprehensive plans that meet the health law’s coverage requirements. As a result of this adverse selection, insurance premiums would rise for those plans with sicker and/or older Americans, which would make coverage less affordable and increase the number of uninsured or force these Americans to join these substandard plans as well.

One of the benefits of the new health law is that more “young seniors,” aged 50-64, are receiving health care before they become eligible for Medicare. However, if Representative Cassidy’s bill became law, the number of uninsured young seniors would increase and be less healthy by the time they became eligible for Medicare – thereby increasing Medicare’s costs.

Representative Cassidy’s bill would undermine the ability of marketplace plans to offer affordable health coverage, increase Medicare’s costs and regress to inferior plans that and have left millions of Americans underinsured, in debt and without adequate consumer protections. The National Committee very much regrets efforts which increase the number of uninsured Americans or Americans with substandard health insurance plans, and strongly urges you to vote against H.R. 3522.


Max Richtman
President and CEO