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Coverage Protections for Pre-existing Conditions a Top Issue for Voters

June 27, 2018

According to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll, about two-thirds (65%) of registered voters say a candidate’s support for continued protections for people with pre-existing health conditions is either the “single most important factor” or “very important” to their vote in the upcoming midterms elections.

The survey of 1,492 adults was conducted via random telephone poll during June 11–18, 2018, and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents surveyed say it is “very important” to them that health insurance companies:

  • Cannot deny coverage because of a person’s medical history
  • Cannot charge sick people more

Similarly, among the general public, large majorities say that Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions that prevent insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions are “very important.” Nearly six in 10 Americans (57%) say that they or someone in their household has a pre-existing condition.

However, a recent lawsuit filed in federal court by Texas and a coalition of 19 other Republican-led states challenges the constitutionality of the ACA and threatens its coverage protections for pre-existing conditions. The Trump Administration has sided with the coalition.

Under the ACA, health insurers cannot:

  • Charge more or deny coverage to people because of pre-existing health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or cancer
  • Limit benefits for those conditions
  • Refuse to cover treatment for pre-existing conditions

In response to these legal proceedings, national hospital advocates, including the American Hospital Association, filed an amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) brief. The brief argued that the ACA should not be struck down and pre-existing condition protections should remain.

HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals embrace the importance of expanding access to meaningful coverage. The ACA has been instrumental in:

  • Supporting more than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians through health insurance coverage
  • Providing better access to health care services
  • Dramatically reducing the uninsured population in Pennsylvania

HAP will continue to advocate for policy that advances those outcomes and will work with the state to ensure Pennsylvania consumers are protected.

Questions about HAP’s federal advocacy efforts should be directed to Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s vice president, federal advocacy.

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