The Republican party is still attempting to completely destroy the Affordable Care Act and on September 5, 2018, they will argue their case in Texas v. United States. The lawsuit, brought forth by 20 Republican-led states, argues that the repeal of the individual mandate makes the entire health care law unconstitutional.
If ObamaCare is completely destroyed, the GOP has promised to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. To accomplish this goal, they have introduced the “Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act.
The law was introduced last week by the following Senators:
Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Dean Heller of Nevada, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Lindsey Graham or South Carolina, John Barrasso of Wyoming, and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.
The name of the bill sounds great but Jeff Young for The Huffington Post explains why it has raised many red flags. “Yes, insurance companies wouldn’t be allowed to refuse to offer coverage to someone who, for example, has a history of cancer or is pregnant. But they could sell someone a policy that doesn’t cover cancer treatments or the birth of a child.”
“Sure, premiums wouldn’t be allowed to vary based on health status or pre-existing conditions. But prices could dramatically vary based on age, gender, occupation and other factors, including hobbies, in ways that are functionally the same as basing them on medical histories. Insurance companies have a lot of experience figuring out that stuff,” Young adds.
If this type of plan sounds familiar that’s because it is. Before the Affordable Care Act, many health care providers responded to requests for coverage in the exact manner listed above.
Speaking to Bloomberg Politics, Kaiser Family Foundation Senior Vice President Larry Levitt verified that the new GOP bill was specifically written with loopholes that would target individuals with pre-existing conditions.
“An insurer would have to give you insurance if you have a pre-existing condition, but it could exclude any services associated with your pre-existing condition,” Levitt said. “This would make protections for people with pre-existing conditions a bit of a mirage.”
Republicans who are supporting the bill are attempting to turn the proposed law into a positive. “Nevadans and Americans throughout the country with pre-existing conditions should be protected – period,” Heller said in a statement to Insurance Journal. “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.”
Democrats running for office in November have been regularly reminding their voters that Republicans have been attempting to destroy ObamaCare, despite the incredible popularity of the Affordable Care Act.
Attempting to attack ObamaCare right before the November mid-terms is a risky endeavor for the Republican party but one they seem to be willing to gamble with at this time.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.