Senate Republicans Are Trying To Pass A Bill That Would Allow Insurance Companies To Exclude Coverage For Pre-existing Conditions. The bill, sponsored by ten Senate Republicans, would allow insurance companies to refuse to cover services related to a pre-existing condition. For instance, an insurance company could sell someone with cancer health care, but refuse to cover any services related to cancer treatment. Larry Levitt, Vice President of the Kaiser Family Foundation warns that this policy change would make guaranteed access to insurance “something of a mirage.”
Republicans Are Arguing In Court That Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions Should Be Overturned. The Trump Administration and twenty conservative states are arguing in court that pre-existing conditions be overturned. A hearing is scheduled in a federal district court on September 5.
Not A Single Republican In Congress Has Signed On To Proposed Resolutions That Would Give Congress The Authority To Defend Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions. Democrats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives have introduced a resolution that would enable each house’s respective Office of Legal Counsel to intervene to defend protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Not a single Republican has signed on.
Since 2010, House Republicans Have Voted To Repeal Or Substantially Alter The Affordable Care Act Dozens Of Times. House Republicans have voted dozens of times to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Until recently, Republicans bragged about this record. As the Washington Post notes, until this year Rep. Dave Joye’s website read that he had voted more than thirty times to repeal, defund, or delay the ACA.
Last Summer Alone, Senate Republicans Voted On Three Bills That Would Have Meant Meant People With Pre-existing Conditions Pay More. Last Summer, the Senate voted to on three bills that would have weakened protections for people with pre-existing conditions — the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act, and the Health Care Freedom Act, also known as “skinny repeal.” Republicans largely supported each of these efforts.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: KEY STAKEHOLDERS OPPOSE REPUBLICAN EFFORTS TO OVERTURN PRE-EXISTING CONDITION PROTECTIONS
American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society Spoke Out Against the Texas Lawsuit: “Striking Down These Provisions Would Be Catastrophic And Have Dire Consequences For Many Patients With Serious Illnesses.” Invalidating the ACA in whole or in part “would be devastating for the millions of Americans who suffer from serious illness or have preexisting conditions and rely on those protections under current law to obtain life-saving health care. If either the plaintiffs’ or the administration’s position were adopted by the court, people with serious illness are likely to be denied coverage due to their preexisting conditions or charged such high premiums because of their health status that they will be unable to afford any coverage that may be offered. Without access to comprehensive coverage, patients will be forced to delay, skip, or forego care. Striking down these provisions would be catastrophic and have dire consequences for many patients with serious illnesses.” [American Cancer Society et. al, 6/14/18]
American Medical Association, The American Academy of Family Physicians, The American College of Physicians, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Spoke Out Against the Texas Lawsuit: “Invalidating The Guaranteed-issue And Community Rating Provisions—or The Entire ACA—Would Have A Devastating Impact On Doctors, Patients, And The American Health Care System As A Whole.” “Congress declined to do what the Plaintiffs ask this Court to do for a reason: the consequences of repealing the ACA would be staggering…Plaintiffs’ proposed remedies . . . would strip health care from tens of millions of Americans who depend on the ACA; produce skyrocketing insurance costs; and sow chaos in the nation’s health care system…The ACA’s ‘nationwide protections for Americans with pre-existing health conditions’ has played a ‘key role’ in allowing 3.6 million people to obtain affordable health insurance. Severing those vital insurance reforms would leave millions without much-needed insurance.” [AMA et. al, 6/14/18]
33 Leading Cancer Organizations Spoke Out Against GOP Bills: “The Senate’s BCRA, Just As The House’s AHCA, Is A Direct Threat To America’s 16 Million Cancer Patients And Survivors Who Rely On Timely And Uninterrupted Access To Comprehensive And Affordable Health Care.” “The Senate’s BCRA, just as the House’s AHCA, is a direct threat to America’s 16 million cancer patients and survivors who rely on timely and uninterrupted access to comprehensive and affordable health care,” said NCCS CEO Shelley Fuld Nasso. “With an estimated 22 million losing coverage, severe cuts to Medicaid, and elimination of pre-existing condition protections, this bill is devastating for the American people, especially for anyone with a cancer diagnosis. It is time to end this threat that is causing fear and anxiety throughout the cancer community, and work towards bipartisan solutions to strengthen current law.” [NCSS, 7/13/17]