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Sewell votes for legislation to strengthen protections for pre-existing conditions

Jessica Ballard

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U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, voted Thursday in favor of legislation to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.

The Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act aims to block President Donald Trump’s administration’s efforts to weaken the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“The Trump administration’s efforts to weaken protections for those with pre-existing conditions – including nearly two million Alabamians – is an attack on many of our neighbors, family and friends,” Sewell said, who is a member of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health. “The legislation the House passed today will help ensure that the Administration cannot promote short-term junk insurance plans that directly discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and undermine the insurance market for comprehensive coverage.”

In October 2018, the Trump administration issued a new guidance on State Innovation Waivers that allows states to promote certain insurance plans that discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

These short-term plans can deny coverage or charge higher premiums based on health status and pre-existing conditions and could also exclude coverage of any care related to a pre-existing condition.

The Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act of 2019 rescinds this guidance immediately and reinforces the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

It also prevents the secretaries of Health and Human Services and Treasury from promoting any substantially similar guidance or rule in the future.

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