Patient groups say GOP bill on pre-existing conditions is insufficient

Postado Setembro 08, 2018

In February, 18 GOP attorneys general and two GOP governors filed the suit in the federal district court in the Northern District of Texas.

Obamacare's defenders, though, say Congress didn't muster the votes to repeal the law - and the court's shouldn't go there.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his allies contend that the health-care law has become unconstitutional because of a massive tax bill, passed by the Republican-led Congress in December, which calls for the law's penalty for flouting the law's individual insurance mandate to end in January.

They are asking the judge to block the law immediately and not wait until the case is finally decided. But in June, the administration announced it would not fully defend the law in court. However, it is taking a narrower view of the impact of Congress' zeroing out of the penalty, which was included in last year's tax overhaul bill. The administration argues that while the elimination of the tax penalty might not render the entire law moot, it should result in striking down the part of the law that protects people with preexisting conditions.

Robert Henneke, General Counsel, Director, Center for the American Future talks to the media the Affordable Care Act at Eldon B. Mahon U.S. Courthouse in Fort Worth, Texas, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. They argue that the law is unconstitutional and should be struck down. However, Yale law professor Abbe Gluck said plaintiffs can't use congressional intent to support their case when Congress has clearly maintained the pre-existing conditions coverage protections and other key provisions.

"No one wants to backslide to those bad old days", Becerra told reporters last week. After the major provisions of the health care law were implemented in 2014-2016, 77.8 percent of Latinos of Mexican heritage reported having health insurance and 73.2 reported having a usual source of care. But while the bill requires insurers to sell coverage to these people, it does not require the companies to cover treatment for those medical conditions.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat, demanded to know Wednesday if Judge Kavanaugh would uphold protections for people with preexisting conditions, though the nominee said he "can't give assurances on specific hypotheticals". That could lead young, healthy people to leave the Covered California market, threatening greater premium spikes.

That has put the measures in the crosshairs of Republicans seeking to repeal the law and lower premiums.

That's from an exclusive analysis of "Obamacare", the besieged but resilient program that still sparks deep divisions heading into this year's midterm elections. Fielded after of the indictment of Michael Cohen and initial trial of Paul Manafort, this is the first time the KFF poll included corruption in Washington, the list of possible campaign topics, and the issue jumped to the top of the list.

Brown is also considering bills that would prohibit low-income people on Medi-Cal from being required to work to receive benefits, require health plans to spend at least 80 percent of their revenue from insurance premiums on health care rather than profits and administrative costs, and ban individuals from creating their own so-called "association health plans", which allow employers to join forces to form plans that can also exclude coverage for maternity and mental health care, prescription drugs and pediatric care. Almost as many say insurers should continue to be prohibited from charging more because of pre-existing conditions. This includes majorities of Democrats, independents and Republicans, as well as majorities of those with and without people with pre-existing conditions in their households.

The requirement and the penalty were once considered integral parts of the health care law.

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor fired stern questions at Democratic state attorneys general who are defending the law, saying the Supreme Court cast Obamacare as a package deal, with the tax penalty tethered to the law's goodies. "With no remaining legitimate basis for the law, it is time that Americans are finally free from the stranglehold of Obamacare, once and for all". "Wanted court to defer a ruling until the beginning of next year", Henneke said. "Congress severed that thin thread with the tax act of 2017, and all of Obamacare must fall".