The Protect Pre-Existing Conditions Act Blocks Trump Administration Efforts to Undermine Health Care Law and Strip Pre-Existing Condition Protections 

Washington, DC — Today, Senate Democrats under the leadership of Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) filed a discharge petition to force a vote on the Protect Pre-Existing Conditions Act which would undo the Trump administration’s new junk insurance plans that don’t cover people with pre-existing conditions. In response, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“Any senator who votes against this resolution sends a crystal clear message: they don’t support protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Voters made clear they want these protections but Senate Republicans and President Trump continue to sabotage our health care and let insurance companies discriminate against 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions like asthma, high cholesterol and arthritis. Trump and Republicans have pushed to let the insurance companies sell these junk plans that cost more and cover less. If Senate Republicans vote against this resolution, it will be a nightmare for families and will come back to haunt Republicans politically.”

BACKGROUND

President Trump Wants To Gut Crucial Guardrail Protections. If He Gets His Way:

  • Protections for people with pre-existing conditions would be essentially meaningless. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said allowing states to waive essential health benefits “could render those protections meaningless” for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • It would be harder for people with pre-existing conditions to get affordable coverage. As Consumers Union stated, allowing states to waive essential health benefits would be “putting meaningful coverage out of reach for many Americans, especially those with chronic and pre existing conditions.”
  • You could pay more for the same coverage. The Trump administration would allow states to adjust the amount of premium tax credits and cost sharing consumers receive to help lower their costs. Without the guardrail to ensure coverage is just as affordable, many consumers could end up paying more for the same care.
  • Insurers would not have to cover essential benefits, like maternity care. Right now, every insurance plan must cover the 10 essential health benefits. Because states could opt out of covering these basic benefits, insurers would likely only offer policies that covered much less than they do now. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that the benefits most likely to no longer be covered would be maternity care, mental health or substance abuse coverage.
  • Insurers could reimpose lifetime and annual limits. Allowing states to opt out of the essential health benefits coverage means that insurance companies could once again put lifetime and annual limits on the amount of care you receive. The Center for American Progress estimates that 20 million people with health coverage through their employer would face lifetime limits on coverage, and 27 million would face annual limits.

As Many As 130 Million Americans Have A Pre-Existing Condition

  • According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 130 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes:
    • 44 million people who have high blood pressure
    • 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders
    • 44 million people who have high cholesterol
    • 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease
    • 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders
  • 17 million children, 68 million women, and 30 million people aged 55-64 have a pre-existing condition