The House Ways and Means Committee today held a hearing on protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions.
“Between the Trump Administration’s efforts to chip away at the law and the 18 Republican Attorneys’ General who are actively trying to sabotage the law through the courts, pre-existing condition protections are on tenuous ground,” said Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., in opening remarks.
U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor last month ruled the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional because Congress repealed the tax penalty enforcing the law's individual mandate. The lawsuit (was brought by 20 Republican-led states, and the Department of Justice told the court it would no longer defend key provisions of the law, including ones that require individuals to have health insurance and protect consumers with pre-existing medical conditions. Seventeen Democratic attorneys general have appealed the ruling. The AHA and other national groups urged the district court to reject the ACA challenge and will urge the court of appeals to reject the challenge.
Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said Republicans “support protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” but “not the status quo.” He urged the committee “to work together to make [health care] affordable.”
Testifying at the hearing were representatives from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Oregon Division of Financial Regulation, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, and Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation.