August 30, 2018/Press Release

ICYMI: LA Times: The GOP claims its proposal would protect people with preexisting conditions. That’s a lie.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — According to The Los Angeles Times, Republicans are desperate to distract from a lawsuit filed by Josh Hawley and 19 other Republican Attorneys General that could strip those with pre-existing conditions of their health insurance. While Hawley himself has tried to claim that a recent bill proposed by Senate Republicans would undo the damage of his lawsuit, the LA Times called the idea that the new bill would protect individuals with pre-existing conditions “a lie.” Kaiser Family Foundation senior vice president Larry Levitt also criticized the bill’s promises as “something of a mirage.”

Hawley still has yet to explain why he is suing to take away coverage from the nearly 2.5 million Missourians with pre-existing conditions.

Key Points from The Los Angeles Times:

  • “Before the ACA’s enactment, it was common in the individual health insurance market for applicants to be turned down for coverage over conditions from anemia to varicose veins…”
  • “The ACA barred such ‘medical underwriting’: Insurers had to accept all applicants and cover their treatment. But the threat to patients with medical histories has recurred, thanks to a lawsuit brought in federal court by Texas and 19 other red states and supported by assorted right-wingers.”
  • “The lawsuit seeks to invalidate the ACA as unconstitutional, based on Congress’ elimination of the individual mandate penalty as part of the tax cut enacted in December. If their wish is granted, the ACA’s protections for those with preexisting conditions will go out the window.”
  • “The [proposed Republican legislation] says that no insurer may reject an insurance applicant based on his or her medical condition or history. But it’s got a loophole that even the dimmest insurance company could drive a hearse through: It doesn’t require that the insurer provide for treatment of the applicant’s preexisting condition.”
  • “That makes the bill’s guaranteed access to insurance ‘something of a mirage,’ says Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.”
  • “The Texas lawsuit does its damage by invalidating the provisions of the ACA that prohibit those exclusions; the Tillis bill simply fails to reinstate them.”