Johnson, Senators Introduce Legislation to Eliminate Failed Obamacare Program

WASHINGTON – Following reports of the Trump administration’s plans to stop administering the Affordable Care Act’s multi-state insurance plans, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sens. Alexander (R-Tenn.), Enzi (R-Wyo.), Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Cramer (R-N.D.), Wicker (R-Miss.), Lee (R-Utah), Braun (R-Ind.), and Paul (R-Ky.) reintroduced the Repeal Insurance Plans of the Multi-State Program Act (RIP MSP Act) on Thursday – an effort to terminate this failed program.

“This failed Obamacare program required every state to participate, yet the ‘multi-state’ program is only offered in a single state and continues to cost taxpayers millions,” said Sen. Johnson. “I hope my colleagues join in supporting this legislation and stop the blatant waste of taxpayer dollars.”

“The federal government has spent millions of dollars trying to implement the Obamacare multi-state program, but it has failed and now only operates in one state,” said Sen. Enzi. “We should eliminate this unsuccessful, inefficient program and instead spend our efforts working to improve our health care system in more productive ways.”

“The multi-state program is another aspect of Obamacare that simply has not worked. Last year, there was only one state in the entire country where patients could purchase this coverage,” said Sen. Barrasso. “It is time to end this failed Obamacare program. Instead, I’m committed on working on real solutions that increase choices and lower the cost of insurance for working families.”

“Obamacare is a story of failed government programs, with the Multi-State Plan Program chief among them,” said Sen. Cramer. “After being inserted into the Affordable Care Act without hearings or input, the federal government has spent $54 million trying to implement this plan nationwide, but only one state has participated. Rather than expanding it into a public option, similar to Democrats’ Medicare for All proposal, we should end this waste of taxpayer funds.”

“Speaker Pelosi said we’d have to pass Obamacare to find out what’s in it, and ten years later Americans have: skyrocketing premiums, dwindling choices, and ill-advised, ill-planned failures like the Multi-State Plan – a placeholder for socialized medicine which has done nothing for Americans but waste millions of taxpayer dollars in administrative costs,” said Sen. Braun.

Section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to contract with at least two national health plans, one of which must be a non-profit plan, to compete directly with private plans in every state. These plans are called Multi-State Plans (MSPs), and under current law they are required to be available in all 50 states as of 2017. Only one state, Arkansas, has agreed to offer an MSP option in 2019. While the federal government has diverted taxpayer dollars from OPM’s core mission-critical programs.

The bill text can be found here.

Sen. Johnson previously joined with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) in 2017 to introduce the RIP MSP Act, and the legislation was voted out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee with bipartisan support. In addition, support for ending the program has been expressed by a variety of groups and is noted below: