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House Strengthens Protections for People Living with Pre-Existing Conditions

Washington, May 9, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation to protect people with pre-existing conditions. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) supported the measure that reversed the Trump Administration’s efforts to allow states to waive protections for pre-existing conditions and push them into junk insurance plans that cost more and do not cover essential benefits.

In October, the Trump Administration issued guidance that allowed states to undermine pre-existing conditions coverage in several ways. The administrative guidance allows insurance companies to deny coverage or charge higher premiums based on health status and pre-existing conditions. These junk plans could also exclude coverage of any care related to a pre-existing condition. A critical component of the Affordable Care Act was that insurance companies would need to cover essential health benefits and could no longer discriminate coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

The house-passed legislation reverses the Administration’s guidance and restores coverage and protections for Americans living with pre-existing conditions

“Before the Affordable Care Act, hardworking people who did everything right could be denied insurance coverage just because they had diabetes, or asthma, or wanted to start a family. They couldn’t get insurance. Period,” said Dingell. “Every American has the right to quality, affordable healthcare. Instead of trying to roll back pre-existing conditions protections, we need to be doing everything we can to expand coverage and lower costs for all Americans.”

Also Thursday, the Health Subcommittee – which Dingell is a member off – held a hearing on lowering prescription drug prices and removing barriers to bring generic options to market faster.

Dingell is a passionate advocate for improving healthcare and lowering costs for hard-working Americans. She led the introduction of Medicare for All which is bold legislation to guarantee healthcare coverage and establish a single payer system. Dingell consistently fought back against efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Last Congress, Dingell worked with Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) on bipartisan legislation that removed the gag clause that prohibited pharmacists from telling a consumer when less expensive options to pay for prescription drugs may be available.  


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