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House Democrats

Democrats Move To Protect Patients With Pre-existing Conditions Against Trump’s Attacks

Yesterday, on the same day a CDC report showed 1.1 million Americans lost health insurance coverage in 2018 following the Trump administration’s sabotage, the House passed the Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act of 2019. The contrast between Democrats and Republicans could not be clearer: while Democrats move to protect Americans from junk plans that discriminate against those who are sick, Republicans continue to fight against those with pre-existing conditions by backing the Trump lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act and support his sabotage agenda.

Washington Post: Democrats Launch Health-care Law Rescue In Face Of Trump’s Threat Of Repeal. “House Democrats began making good on their campaign promise to shore up the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, passing a bill that would bar the Trump administration from granting states some waivers to the landmark health-care law. Next week, the House will vote on a package of seven health-care bills, several of which would reverse administration actions that Democrats have described as efforts to sabotage former president Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. The votes come as President Trump recently renewed his vow to repeal the 2010 law and directed the Justice Department to support a lawsuit aimed at invalidating the law entirely — including its popular protections for Americans with preexisting medical conditions.” [Washington Post, 5/9/19]

New York Times: With Insurance Bill Passage, House Democrats Begin Health Care Blitz. “Returning to a central issue of the 2018 campaign, House Democrats on Thursday passed legislation to reverse Trump administration rules that allow expansion of health care plans that do not have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s mandated coverage of pre-existing medical conditions. The vote — 230 to 183 — was a jab at President Trump, who has pressed for ways around the coverage mandates of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement while claiming he is committed to protecting Americans with chronic illnesses.” [New York Times, 5/9/19]

CQ: House Passes Bill To Protect Health Care Law. “In October, the administration released a guidance to give states more flexibility by exempting them from some of the waiver requirements. The administration later suggested ways states could change their insurance markets, including revising the rules for consumers to qualify for premium subsidies, allowing those subsidies to go toward plans that don’t comply with all of the 2010 law’s regulations or setting up high-risk pools or reinsurance programs to help cover the most expensive patients.” [CQ, 5/9/19]

ThinkProgress: 183 Republicans Vote Against Bill To Protect People With Pre-existing Conditions. “The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would block the Trump administration from granting states the leeway to skirt Obamacare rules —- a measure designed to ensure that patients with pre-existing conditions continue to receive affordable robust coverage — in a 236 to 183 vote. The bill is not expected to pass the GOP-controlled Senate, but even if it does, the president has threatened to veto the measure. Every House Democrat and four Republicans voted in favor of the bill, H.R. 986, known as the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019. Meanwhile, 183 Republicans voted against it — including members who vowed in 2018 that they would protect people with pre-existing conditions.” [ThinkProgress, 5/9/19]

CNN: House Democrats Pass Bill To Roll Back Trump Guidance Related To Obamacare. “The House passed a bill Thursday afternoon aimed at shoring up protections for those with pre-existing health conditions, part of Democrats’ plans for protecting the Affordable Care Act under the Trump administration. The legislation was approved 230 to 183, mostly along party lines with four Republican members joining Democrats. While it’s not expected to be picked up by the Republican-controlled Senate, the vote gives Democrats another messaging tool in the politically divisive fight over health care. The bill would nullify a Trump administration guidance that would allow states to ask for waivers to make major changes to their Obamacare markets.” [CNN, 5/9/19]

Associated Press: House Votes To Block Trump’s Eased Health Coverage Rules. “The Trump administration would be blocked from easing coverage rules required by President Barack Obama’s health care law under legislation Democrats pushed through the House on Thursday as the two parties rejoined a battle that roiled last year’s congressional elections. Under guidance the administration issued last year, states could allow insurers to offer low-cost, low-coverage policies that could deny coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Democrats said that by blocking that language, Thursday’s bill would protect patients with pre-existing conditions.” [Associated Press, 5/9/19]

The Hill: House Votes To Overturn Trump ObamaCare Move. “The House voted Thursday to overturn one of President Trump’s key ObamaCare moves, advancing a bill that Democrats have framed as protecting people with pre-existing conditions. Passed in a largely party-line vote of 230-183, the bill seeks to overturn guidance the Trump administration released last year expanding a program that allows states to innovate and waive certain ObamaCare rules.” [The Hill, 5/9/19]

Shareblue: GOP Votes Against Protecting People With Preexisting Conditions. “A majority of Republicans once again voted to let health insurance companies discriminate against people with preexisting conditions. On Thursday afternoon, the House of Representatives passed the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019 by a vote of 230 to 183. Democrats unanimously supported the bill, joined by only four Republicans. Every single vote against the bill came from Republicans. On the issue of preexisting conditions, most Republicans sided with Trump, who announced on Tuesday that he would veto the bill if it ever made it to his desk. The Trump administration ‘strongly opposes’ the bill because it ‘runs counter to the President’s healthcare vision.’” [Shareblue, 5/9/19]

Democrats Take Steps to Strengthen Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions And Reverse GOP Health Care Sabotage

With Passage of H.R. 986, House Democrats Are Making Good on Their Promise to Crack Down on Junk Insurance Plans Pushed By the Trump Administration

 

Washington, DC – Today, Congress passed H.R. 986, the “Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act,” a bill spearheaded by Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) to block a major aspect of the Trump administration’s sabotage agenda that allows insurance companies to sell junk insurance plans that discriminate against Americans with pre-existing conditions. The White House has already threatened to veto the bill, making clear their intention to continue to gut these protections.

In response to today’s vote, Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach released the following statement:

“The House Democrats voted to end the Trump administration’s policy that gave power back to insurance companies to sell ‘junk’ plans that gut protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. No matter how many times President Trump and his Republican allies lie to the American people, it is clear they want to destroy our health care laws no matter the consequences for people with cancer, diabetes or other pre-existing conditions. The White House veto threat makes that crystal clear.

“Today’s vote is the first of many House Democrats will take to pursue their lower cost, better care agenda. In the next few weeks, Democrats will vote to overturn the sabotage of open enrollment, make health insurance affordable and reduce the costs of prescription drugs, sending a clear message to President Trump that Americans will not tolerate his war on health care.”

Lower Costs, Better Care: House Democrats Unveil Sweeping Health Bill

After winning the Midterm elections by vowing to fight for Americans’ health care, Democrats in the House of Representatives are making good on their promises by introducing sweeping legislation to achieve lower costs and better care. While House Democrats take concrete steps to make our health care system work better for the American people, the Trump administration and its Republican allies are doing just the opposite: proposing to cut Medicare and Medicaid by $2 trillion, gutting protections for preexisting conditions, and throwing the full weight of the Justice Department behind overthrowing the Affordable Care Act in the Texas lawsuit.

This bill is only the start for the Democrats’ agenda which will ultimately include further efforts to rein in prescription drug costs and end surprise hospital bills. Here’s how the proposed legislation will work for Americans:

Lower Health Care Costs. The House bill would reduce health care premiums and deductibles, expand eligibility for financial assistance that helps consumers afford coverage, and expand access to affordable health care by guaranteeing affordable care options.

  • Coverage for less than ten percent of your income. Under the bill, nearly all Americans would be guaranteed an option to purchase health care for less than 10 percent of their income.
  • Financial assistance for more people. Premium tax credits would be made available to more middle class Americans, including those with incomes above 400 percent of the federal poverty line or roughly $100,400 for a family of four.
  • Lowering premiums. By creating a national reinsurance program the House legislation would help further reduce premiums.

Better Care For More People. The bill would restrict insurance companies’ ability to sell plans that gut circumvent important consumer protections. By helping to lower costs, the House bill would also expand access to comprehensive, affordable care for even more people.

    • Lowering premiums, deductibles, or both for more than 13 million people currently insured and providing lower cost options for 12 million uninsured people. In all, the bill’s extended tax credits, reinsurance programs and premium assistance would cut premiums for all ACA-compliant plans sold on the individual market, reducing premiums or deductibles for 13 million with individual market coverage and creating lower cost options for 12 million uninsured people eligible for coverage through the marketplace.
  • Protecting people with pre-existing conditions. The legislation would stop the Trump administration’s plans to allow insurance companies to sell junk plans that deny people with pre-existing conditions coverage or charge them more.
  • Guaranteeing that insurance companies cover basic health services. The bill would also prevent the Trump administration from weakening requirements that all insurance cover essential health benefits, such as prescription drug coverage, hospital care, and maternity coverage.
  • Taking power away from insurance companies and gives it back to patients. While the Trump administration gives insurance companies the power to flood the market with junk plans and rewards them with massive tax breaks, this bill reinstates important protections for American consumers, giving power back to patients.

End Sabotage. Since taking office, the Trump administration has worked relentlessly to sabotage Americans’ health care, expanding access to junk plans that allow insurance companies to deny coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions and slashing funding to help people sign up for comprehensive, affordable care.

  • Restoring funding for education. The House bill would restore marketing funding for heatlh care sold through the marketplace, which the Trump administration has cut by 90 percent since taking office.
  • Restoring funding for groups that help people sign up for coverage. Funding for health navigator groups that help people sign up for comprehensive care, which has been cut by 77 percent since the President Trump took office, would also be restored.