Sewell Votes for Legislation to Strengthen Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) voted today to in favor of H.R. 986, Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act of 2019, to block the Trump Administration’s efforts to weaken the Affordable Care Act’s critical protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions.
“The Trump Administration’s efforts to weaken protections for those with pre-existing conditions – including nearly two million Alabamians – is an attack on many of our neighbors, family and friends,” said Sewell, a member of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health. “The legislation the House passed today will help ensure that the Administration cannot promote short-term junk insurance plans that directly discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and undermine the insurance market for comprehensive coverage.”
On October 22, 2018, the Trump Administration issued new, dangerous guidance on Section 1332 waivers (State Innovation Waivers), allowing states to undermine the ACA’s critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Among other provisions, the guidance allows states to promote junk insurance plans that discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and do not cover essential benefits. Unlike ACA plans, short-term plans can deny coverage or charge higher premiums based on health status and pre-existing conditions and could also exclude coverage of any care related to a pre-existing condition.
The Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act of 2019 rescinds this guidance immediately, thereby reinforcing the ACA’s vital protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It also prevents the Secretaries of HHS and Treasury from promoting any substantially similar guidance or rule in the future.