Home Abigail Spanberger Every Virginia Dem Member of Congress Votes to Protect Americans with Pre-existing...

Every Virginia Dem Member of Congress Votes to Protect Americans with Pre-existing Conditions; Every Republican Votes Against

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See below for press releases from Reps. Donald McEachin (D-VA04), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA10) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08) about their votes today for HR986 (“Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act” by Rep. Don Beyer). Note that every Virginia Democrat voted FOR this bill, while every Virginia Republican voted AGAINST protecting Americans with preexisting conditions. Very, very revealing.

McEachin Votes in Support of Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act 

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald voted in support of H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act, to block the Trump administration’s October 2018 guidance that gives states the ability to weaken the Affordable Care Act’s critical protections for Americans, including individuals with pre-existing conditions. 

“I am proud to have cast my vote for this critical legislation that protects the health and economic stability of hardworking families and those with pre-existing conditions, ” saidCongressman A. Donald McEachin. “More than 3.4 million Virginians live with a pre-existing condition. This bill protects them – along with countless others throughout the country – from the Trump administration’s attacks on health care. I will continue to champion all individuals’ right to affordable, quality health care.”

On October 22, 2018, the Trump administration issued guidance allowing states to promote insurance plans that discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and do not cover essential benefits. The administration’s guidance allows states to promote so-called “short-term, limited-duration” insurance options that directly discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. 

In stark contrast, the House passed two bipartisan bills recently to reduce the price of prescription drugs by removing barriers to more affordable generic versions of brand-name drugs coming to market.

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Spanberger Votes with Bipartisan Majority of U.S. House to Protect Central Virginians with Pre-Existing Conditions

Legislation Passed Today would Reinforce the Current Healthcare Law’s Protections for Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions

Since Arriving in the U.S. House, Spanberger has Worked to Stabilize the Current Healthcare System, Lower Costs for Central Virginia Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass legislation that would prevent current efforts to strip healthcare protections from Central Virginians with pre-existing conditions.

The Spanberger supported Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act would immediately rescind the administration’s guidance regarding protections for people with pre-existing conditions in State Innovation Waivers. Additionally, the bill would prevent the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Treasury Department from issuing any similar guidance or rule in the future.

“Last week, the administration continued its misguided crusade to dismantle our healthcare system and gut protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions. Instead of the administration’s reckless, partisan lawsuit, we need to pursue true, bipartisan fixes that can lower costs, protect working families, and stabilize the existing healthcare law,” said Spanberger. “Today, I’m proud to stand with thousands of Central Virginians with pre-existing conditions—ranging from those with asthma to those with childhood diseases. This legislation makes clear that it’s wrong to take away lifesaving protections from these neighbors who absolutely depend on them. I’ve long spoken out against the administration’s attempts to gut the existing healthcare law—and I’ll keep fighting in the House to protect affordable coverage for working families, children, the elderly, and those with disabilities.”

The Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions is led by U.S. Representatives Ann Kuster (D-NH), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Joe Courtney (D-CT). Specifically, the bill would rescind guidance on administration-issued Section 1332 waivers, which currently allow states to weaken protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

In a brief filed last week, the U.S. Department of Justice argued in favor of striking down the entire existing healthcare law—including critical protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. When the administration announced its renewed push to dismantle the U.S. healthcare system in March 2019, Spanberger immediately spoke out strongly against these efforts.

Background

Spanberger has continued to push back against the partisan healthcare sabotage that has caused premiums and uninsured rates to rise across the country.

Last month, she voted in support of a bipartisan resolution to condemn the administration’s active legal campaign to gut the existing healthcare law. Following the vote, she spoke on the floor of the U.S. House to outline how the administration’s efforts—if successful—would wipe out critical healthcare protections for Central Virginians. 

And in the days following the administration’s announcement, Spanberger helped introduce legislation to lower health insurance premiums, protect Central Virginians with pre-existing conditions, and stabilize the Affordable Care Act. The bill would improve and expand healthcare affordability—and the legislation would also strengthen tax credits, improve marketplace stability, and stop insurance companies from selling junk insurance plans.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2019
Press Contact: Amir Avin
amir.avin@mail.house.govCongresswoman Wexton Votes to Protect Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Washington, DC — Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton voted in favor of H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act of 2019, which passed the House this evening.

H.R. 986 would rescind the 1332 guidance issued by the Trump Administrationwhich clearly weakens coverage and undermines the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions. In doing so, the bill reinforces the ACA’s vital protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It also prevents the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Treasury from promulgating any substantially similar guidance or rule in the future.

“Healthcare is complicated, but this issue is not,” said Congresswoman JenniferWexton. “No American should ever be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition. I’m proud to have voted for the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act. Virginia’s 10th Congressional District is home to over 330,000 Virginians living with pre-existing conditions. If the Trump administration gets its way, millions of Americans risk being priced out of their health insurance or denied coverage outright simply for having a pre-existing condition. That’s wrong, plain and simple.”

Patient advocacy groups representing millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions have expressed strong support for H.R. 986.

WATCH: Congresswoman Wexton speaks on the House floor in favor of the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act. 
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Background on Section 1332 of the ACA and the Trump administration’s guidance:

  • Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (State Innovation Waivers) was designed to give states the ability to experiment with health reforms that would improve the well-being and health of their residents. Section 1332 requires states to meet four statutory guardrails to be approved. The waiver proposals must be accessible, affordable, comprehensive and cannot increase the deficit.
  • The Trump administration’s guidance drastically weakens Section 1332. The guidance allows states to simply demonstrate that a comparable number of residents will have “access” to comprehensive and affordable coverage, regardless of whether they actually enroll in that coverage, thereby allowing the Secretaries of HHS and Treasury to approve waivers that do not provide coverage that is as affordable and comprehensive as under the ACA.
  • The administration’s guidance even goes so far as to allow states to use federal taxpayer dollars to subsidize the purchase of junk plans, which do not provide protections for pre-existing conditions and do not cover essential benefits.
  • The guidance’s aggressive promotion of inadequate junk plans, including by the use of federal taxpayer dollars to subsidize the buying of junk plans, will also result in increasing the premiums for those with pre-existing conditions who need comprehensive coverage – by leading younger, healthier people into the junk plans and out of comprehensive coverage, damaging the risk pool.
  • Finally, this damaging guidance also reinvigorates old, failed Republican ideas from the ACA repeal and replace debate, such as flat tax credits, which will leave consumers exposed to rising premium costs.

May 9, 2018

House Passes Bill to Protect Individuals with Preexisting Conditions, Pushback Against President Trump’s Sabotage of the ACA

**Kuster, Beyer, Courtney Legislation would revoke Trump Administration guidance that weakens protections for individuals with preexisting conditions**

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would safeguard individuals with preexisting conditions from efforts by the Trump Administration to undermine their access to care. The Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act (HR 986), introduced by Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02), Don Beyer (VA-08), and Joe Courtney (CT-02), would revoke guidance issued by the Trump Administration in October 2018 that encourages states to approve health plans that do not cover preexisting conditions.

“We cannot go back to a time when Americans with preexisting conditions can be charged more or denied care,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Our legislation provides much-needed pushback against the Trump Administration’s repeated and ongoing sabotage of the Affordable Care Act and our healthcare system. I remain focused on how we can strengthen our healthcare system and I will continue fighting to make the ACA work better for all Americans.”

“Passing this legislation is part of House Democrats’ larger commitment to fighting for quality, affordable health care for all Americans,” said Congressman Beyer. “Our bill aims to undo much of the worst of the Trump Administration’s sabotage of the U.S. health care system, which threatens to raise costs and weaken protections for people with preexisting conditions. It comes on the heels of our legislation opposing the Trump Administration’s lawsuit which would deprive millions of health coverage and eliminate the ban on discriminating against people with preexisting conditions. I expect further legislation to take aggressive action on reducing health care costs and prescription drug prices, and hope that more of our Republican colleagues will vote with us in the future on measures to support a better health care system.”

“One of the primary goals of this Administration has been to erode key ACA consumer protections, like coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions – provisions that are the very foundation of the health care law,” said Congressman Courtney. “In 2010 we turned the page on allowing insurance companies to charge people more, or to flat out deny them coverage, based on an absurdly broad range of common pre-existing conditions – things like cancer and diabetes, a mental illness, or surviving a heart attack. That’s where this Administration wants to take us back to by issuing waiver guidance like they did in October. Passage of our bill is an important step towards ensuring that millions of Americans with common health conditions can keep their coverage, and I encourage the Senate to follow the House’s lead and act swiftly to pass this legislation.”

The Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act would revoke Section 1332 guidance released by the Trump Administration’s U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on October 22, 2018, which weakened protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Under the Trump Administration’s guidance, states can apply for a waiver that allows them to circumvent essential health benefits, protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, and use federal funds to subsidize the purchase of junk health plans.

The text of H.R. 986 The Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act is available HERE.