Patient Groups: Senate Health Care Bill Would Not Sufficiently Protect Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions

Contact

Michelle Kirkwood
press@diabetes.org
703-299-2053

Arlington, Virginia
September 4, 2018

Senate Health Care Bill Would Not Sufficiently Protect Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions

More than 25 patient and consumer groups representing millions of people with pre-existing health conditions issued the following statement regarding S. 3388, the Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act introduced on August 23rd, 2018.

“Our organizations are pleased that the sponsors of this legislation recognize the importance of protecting access to health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Like the bill’s drafters, we acknowledge that the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit poses a real threat to the millions of patients and consumers with serious and chronic conditions represented by our organizations. Americans need access to affordable and adequate healthcare coverage to manage and maintain their health. We are encouraged that the sponsors of this bill recognize that Congressional action will be needed to address the damaging impact on our patients if the court invalidates vital protections in current law.

“We appreciate that this legislation would prohibit the denial of coverage and rating based on health status. However, it would not ban pre-existing condition exclusions and would remove rating restrictions based on age, gender, tobacco use, or occupation. This means that many individuals could still face higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs and, even if enrollees paid the increased premiums for many months, they could still be denied benefits because of a pre-existing condition. In short, this bill would not replace critical protections in current law if the court rules unfavorably for patients and consumers in Texas v. U.S. This is not acceptable for the patients we represent.

“Patients and their families rely on the comprehensive protections included in the Affordable Care Act to access important, life-sustaining and life-improving health care. Our groups remain committed to working with Congress to ensure that any legislation promising to protect people with pre-existing conditions meet the principles set by our organizations that guarantee that health care is affordable, adequate and accessible – no matter the ultimate outcome of this lawsuit.”

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  • Adult Congenital Heart Association
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Heart Association
  • American Liver Foundation
  • American Lung Association
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Chronic Disease Coalition
  • Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • Epilepsy Foundation
  • Family Voices
  • Hemophilia Federation of America
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Lutheran Services in America
  • March of Dimes
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • National Health Council
  • National Hemophilia Foundation
  • National Kidney Foundation
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • National Organization for Rare Disorders
  • National Patient Advocate Foundation
  • National Psoriasis Foundation
  • Susan G. Komen
  • United Way Worldwide
  • WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)