Trump is asking the courts to do what Republicans in Congress tried but failed to do: remove protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) and congressional Republicans voted to repeal the popular Affordable Care Act (ACA) more than 50 times. And in 2017, Rohrabacher supported the Trump-Ryan Republican health care repeal bill, which would have eliminated protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
In California, half of all individuals under the age of 65 currently have a pre-existing condition.
Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurers could deny coverage or charge astronomical premiums because of pre-existing medical conditions. Under the ACA, insurers could no longer deny coverage, nor could they charge individuals with pre-existing coverage more, which is one of the most popular provisions of the law.
But Rohrabacher and Republicans tried to strip that protection away. And after he voted to take it away, Rohrabacher was not honest about his vote. On his website, Rohrabacher falsely claimed the Republican bill “is no less committed to covering Americans with pre-existing conditions.”
But according to Politifact:
While insurers technically would still be required to offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, the AHCA would weaken protections for those people.
Insurers would be able to charge people significantly more if they had a pre-existing condition like heart disease, cancer, diabetes or arthritis — possibly requiring people to pay thousands of dollars extra every year to remain insured.
The initial health care repeal bill passed the House with the help of every single California Republican, but it failed to pass the Senate.
Now, the Trump administration is trying to use the courts to eliminate the protection for pre-existing conditions.
As SoCal Daily previously reported, “Trump’s Justice Department filed a briefing late Thursday stating it will no longer defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) against state lawsuits, and telling courts to strike down provisions including the individual mandate and protections requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions.”
Trump’s efforts, like those in Congress, are being met with stiff opposition. In a joint statement, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society said:
Should this case be successful, people with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and any serious or chronic condition are likely to be denied coverage due to their pre-existing conditions or charged such high premiums because of their health status that they will be unable to afford any coverage that may be offered.
Without access to comprehensive coverage patients will be forced to delay, skip or forego care. This was often the case before the law took effect and would likely be the same should these essential protections be eliminated.
On behalf of the millions of Americans we represent, we urge the administration to reconsider its position. Striking down these provisions would be catastrophic and have dire consequences for many patients with serious illnesses.
Rohrabacher and Trump are both trying to take America back to a world where insurance companies can discriminate against cancer patients, people living with HIV, and women who seek medical assistance after being assaulted or abused.
Rohrabacher wants discrimination written back into health care law, and Trump might help him accomplish that goal.