Senators Introduce Legislation To Protect Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions
Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act, legislation that would guarantee Americans have equal health care coverage, regardless of their health status or pre-existing conditions.
Oral arguments in Texas v. United States will begin on September 5th, and if the judge rules in favor of the plaintiffs, protections for patients with pre-existing conditions could be eliminated. This legislation amends the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to guarantees the availability of coverage in the individual or group market, for all Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions, regardless of the outcome in Texas v. United States. The legislation prohibits discrimination against beneficiaries based on health status, including the prohibition against increased premiums for beneficiaries due to pre-existing conditions.
Click HERE to read the legislation.
“There are strong opinions on both sides when it comes to how we should overhaul our nation’s broken health care system, but the one thing we can all agree on is that we should protect health care for Americans with pre-existing conditions and ensure they have access to good coverage,” said Senator Tillis. “This legislation is a common-sense solution that guarantees Americans with preexisting conditions will have health care coverage, regardless of how our judicial system rules on the future of Obamacare.”
“No matter where I go, or who I talk to, healthcare remains a huge concern for Alaskans. And one of the key pieces to care is ensuring that people with pre-existing conditions can purchase insurance,” said Senator Murkowski. “With the uncertainty of the outcome in the upcoming Texas v. United States case, this legislation is needed now more than ever to give Alaskans, and all Americans, the certainty they need that protections for those with pre-existing conditions will remain intact. I’m proud to support a bill that will make sure no one loses coverage.”
“Don’t let there be any confusion about it—Americans with pre-existing conditions are going to have protections against being denied coverage or charged more for their condition,” said Senator Alexander. “I’m glad to join my Republican colleagues to ensure these protections continue, and I look forward to finding more ways to expand insurance options for Americans with pre-existing conditions, such as through the new Department of Labor rule that will make lower cost employer insurance with patient protections available to the self-employed and more employees of small businesses.”
“For decades, there’s been tremendous support at the grassroots of Iowa and nationwide to protect people with pre-existing conditions from losing their health insurance,” said Senator Grassley. “Experts say that as much as half of the population under age 65 has some type of pre-existing health condition. This legislation will give certainty that broadly supported protections for pre-existing conditions are here to stay no matter what. Support for the legislation will separate those who really want to protect people with pre-existing conditions and those who would rather have a political talking point to scare Americans who are already worried enough. I hope the former is more important.”
“Nevadans and Americans throughout the country with pre-existing conditions should be protected – period,” said Senator Heller. “This legislation will make sure that Nevada’s most vulnerable have access to coverage, and I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce it.”
“I'm a doctor who took care of patients in Louisiana’s charity hospital system for over 25 years, many of them directly affected by this issue,” said Dr. Cassidy. “That's why I'm so committed to protecting people with pre-existing conditions, and this bill keeps that promise."