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U.S. House Votes to Protect Those with Preexisting Medical Conditions

Kathy Castor | U.S. Rep. | Politics

The new law would prevent Republican efforts to “sabotage” the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor said.

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday (May 9) passed a bill aimed at making sure insurers cover people who have preexisting medical conditions.

The Preexisting Conditions Act is an attempt to stand up to President Donald Trump and the Republican party’s “relentless sabotage of the Affordable Care Act,” U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, said. The Preexisting Conditions Act is specifically aimed at “blocking the GOP’s legislative actions and their lawsuit that would invalidate the entire health-care law and rip vital consumer health care protections from hundreds of millions of Americans.”

“Passing the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act is an important part of my commitment to protecting so many of my neighbors in Tampa Bay with preexisting conditions,” Castor said. “This legislation helps put an end to the Trump administration’s dangerous effort to weaken this life-saving protection. We must safeguard families from the Republican attempts to push them into junk insurance plans that do not cover essential benefits.

“The mandate from my neighbors is clear: they value affordable and accessible health care and the bedrock protection from discrimination based upon a preexisting health condition.”

Charlie Crist | U.S. House | Politics
Charlie Crist

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, also praised passage of the bill, saying, ““Today, the people’s House of Representatives voted to protect Americans with preexisting conditions from the most recent act of sabotage by the Trump Administration. Despite promising the American people that those with preexisting conditions would be protected, the administration recently gave the green light to states to discriminate, ending federal protections for preexisting conditions.

“People’s lives are on the line. I urge the Senate to take up this measure immediately, joining the House in protecting preexisting conditions for the American people.”

More than 133 million Americans live with preexisting conditions, including more than 7 million Floridians, Castor said. Not only does it ensure them coverage, the ACA also keeps children on their parents’ insurance until age 26, removes lifetime caps on health care coverage and requires that health insurance plans cover essential benefits, such as mental health and substance use disorder services, preventative health services and hospitalization.

Last fall, the Trump administration issued guidance on Section 1332 of the ACA, removing a requirement on states that health coverage plans be comprehensive, affordable and protect patients with preexisting conditions. This guidance encourages states to allow junk insurance plans that do not protect Americans with preexisting conditions. The Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act reverses the Trump administration’s health-care sabotage, she said.

“The president and Republicans in Congress have made it their mission to sabotage the affordable health care of hardworking Americans, and it is imperative that we take steps to safeguard families from their continued betrayal,” Castor said. “I will continue to stand up for my Tampa Bay neighbors, especially those with preexisting conditions, and work with my Democratic colleagues to deliver lower health costs. Instead of ripping affordable coverage away, Republicans and the president should be working with us to lower premiums, co-payments and ensure quality health care for our neighbors.”

The GOP has tried to sabotage the ACA, which is also known as Obamacare, since it was signed into law, and their efforts have continued with a more-than partner in the Trump administration. Castor said. This past weekend marked two years since House Republicans passed their Trumpcare bill to repeal health-care coverage and take protections away from millions of Americans.  At present, they are pursuing a lawsuit that would invalidate the entire ACA, which would kick millions of Americans off their health-care plans, remove protections for patients with preexisting conditions and prevent those under age 26 from staying on their parents’ health coverage – Florida’s previous governor and attorney general joined the lawsuit to rip health coverage away from Florida families, neighbors and the state continues to be a part of the lawsuit.

Castor said she has worked tirelessly to safeguard Americans’ health in response to the continued sabotage of affordable, quality health care and protections for Americans with preexisting conditions by President Trump and Republicans in Congress.

Castor serves on the powerful U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee, which has oversight of health-care policy, and she has authored legislation that would halt the Trump administration’s attack on the ACA.  She has also introduced legislation to ensure resources for Health Care Navigators as they work to sign our neighbors up for health-care plans that work best for them, which in turn lower prices for all Americans.

Kathy Castor | Charlie Crist | Health Care | Preexisting Conditions | Tampabay News

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U.S. House Votes to Protect Those with Preexisting Medical Conditions
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U.S. House Votes to Protect Those with Preexisting Medical Conditions
The new law would prevent Republican efforts to "sabotage" the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor said.
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