An Individual with A Pre-Existing Condition Could Still Be Denied Coverage Under Sen. Gardner’s Pre-Existing Conditions Protections Act of 2020 

Washington, DC — Today, in a blatant attempt to cover his abysmal health care record, Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) released bill text for the “Pre-Existing Conditions Protections Act of 2020.” The Affordable Care Act (ACA), a law that Senator Gardner has repeatedly voted to repeal, already provides protections for people with pre-existing conditions. However, the ACA is currently in danger of being overturned in the courts in a lawsuit brought by the Trump administration and its Republican allies in the states. In addition to ensuring people with pre-existing conditions are not charged more for coverage, for any bill to fully protect people with pre-existing conditions, it must include the following provisions: preclude insurance companies from denying coverage based on health status, require coverage of essential benefits such as maternity care, cancer treatments, prescription drugs and mental health and substance use disorder treatments, and ban insurers from capping how much they will pay for medical care over a year or during a lifetime for these essential benefits. Senator Gardner’s bill includes none of these provisions. Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement in response: 

“More than 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions are already protected by the Affordable Care Act. The only reason these protections are at risk is because Cory Gardner and Donald Trump have tried repeatedly to take them away. Right now Donald Trump, enabled by his Republican allies including Senator Gardner, is before the Supreme Court arguing to overturn the ACA in its entirety in the midst of a pandemic, ripping coverage away from 23 million Americans, eliminating Medicaid expansion, increasing drug costs for seniors, and ending requirements that all health insurance policies cover essential needs. Senator Gardner’s bill does not ensure coverage of essential health benefits like prescription drugs, maternity care and cancer treatments. Despite its name, this bill doesn’t actually protect people with pre-existing conditions because it allows insurance companies to place yearly and lifetime limits on essential benefits and to deny coverage outright based on a condition. Voters in Colorado won’t be fooled by Senator Gardner’s sham of a bill. This bill isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.”