by Countable | 4.25.19
Legislation to protect people with pre-existing conditions has been introduced in both chambers of Congress, but the bills drafted by Senate Republicans and House Democrats approach the issue very differently.
The Senate GOP bill, the Protect Act (S. 1125), aims to ensure that the primary protections for people with pre-existing conditions enshrined in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) remain in effect if Obamacare is found unconstitutional when the appeals process for the case Texas v. Azar concludes.
Sponsored by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) with 22 GOP cosponsors, the Protect Act would simply prohibit insurers offering group or individual health insurance coverage from excluding enrollees because of pre-existing conditions (known as “guaranteed issue”). It’d also prohibit insurance companies from refusing to cover treatments for a patient’s pre-existing condition, or charging higher premiums because of the pre-existing condition.
While the Senate GOP bill would amend the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rather than modifying Obamacare directly, House Democrats’ bill would expand on the ACA.
The Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions and Making Health Care More Affordable Act (H.R. 1884) would expand access to Obamacare’s premium assistance tax credits to nearly all Americans (it’s currently capped at 400% of the federal poverty line, which is about $50k for an individual or $103k for a family of four). It would also undo several Trump administration actions that Democrats view as attempts to “sabotage” Obamacare by:
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Rabbitti)
Written by Countable