GOP's Assault on Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Continues

June 15, 2018
The Trump Administration’s latest cruel effort to strike down key consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act preventing insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more for covering people with pre-existing conditions has far reaching consequences.

Not only would this strip away protections for those purchasing coverage through the individual marketplace, it would eliminate protections for everyone with pre-existing conditions regardless of where they get their insurance – including those who are insured through their employer.

More than 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions are currently protected by the Affordable Care Act.  Every day, babies are born with health conditions, children and adults get sick.  This Republican sabotage of health care will touch families in every community in every state.

Wall Street Journal: Get Health Coverage at Work? Lawsuit Against ACA Could Affect You, Too

Tens of millions of people who get health insurance through their job could face waiting periods for coverage or find that specific medical conditions aren’t immediately covered if the courts back a request by the Trump administration to toss key provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Most of the attention surrounding a recent Justice Department request to strike down parts of the ACA has focused on the individual market, where people buy their own coverage. But the request would also rewind some protections for the vast majority of Americans—some 175 million people—who get health coverage via small and large employers, analysts said.

“Anyone who just thinks this is just impacting the 12 to 15 million individuals with individual coverage is wrong,” said Timothy Jost, an emeritus law professor at Washington and Lee University.

New York Times: The New Obamacare Lawsuit Could Undo Far More Than Protections for Pre-existing Conditions

A new Trump administration court challenge is explicitly aiming to remove a central promise of Obamacare — its protections for people with pre-existing health conditions. But it could also make it much harder for any individual to obtain health insurance on the open market.

The administration’s brief, filed in Federal District Court in Texas on Thursday, focuses on the core Obamacare provisions that make insurance available to people with prior illnesses.  Those protections — which President Trump once praised and Republicans in Congress vowed not to disrupt last year — don’t exist in a vacuum.

Undoing them could also undo other programs in the health law, making insurance harder to obtain for people who buy their own insurance or get it through a small company, and possibly making it unaffordable for many middle-income people who receive financial assistance with their health insurance premiums under the law.

The American people deserve better than the raw deal Republicans have been forcing on them in health care.  Democrats will continue to fight to protect Americans’ health care and lower their costs, and are offering A Better Deal to lower the surging costs of prescription drugs.