Last Thursday, Republican members of the Ways & Means Committee unanimously voted against a measure to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions from discrimination. The vote occurred during a mark up session when the committee was considering a total of 11 health-related bills. A ranking Democratic congressman on the committee offered the amendment to prevent health care plans from taking away pre-existing condition protections.
In response to the vote, a ranking member of the committee, Richard Neal (D-MA), said, “What happens to that child who was born with severe diabetes? Prior to the current law of the land, she [/he] either wouldn’t be able to get insurance or would be charged a higher premium simply because of a health condition that is no fault of her own. Mr. Doggett’s amendment would have simply reaffirmed existing protections for people with pre-existing conditions, something that the vast majority of Americans believe is the right thing to do.”
As part of the current administration’s ongoing efforts to under-cut the Affordable Care Act, the Trump Administration is refusing to defend this portion of the law in federal court, threatening the future of pre-existing condition protections for approximately 130 million Americans who have a pre-existing condition.