GOP health plan for pre-existing conditions spawns worries
From cancer to addiction, doctors and patient groups are warning that the latest Republican health care bill would gut hard-won protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Some GOP moderates who may seal the legislation’s fate are echoing those concerns.
In a strongly worded statement this week, the American Medical Association said the Republican protections “may be illusory.” The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said the plan could take the nation back to a “patchwork system” that pushes costs on people with life-threatening conditions.
Such stark messages may be connecting with lawmakers anxious about making the right decision on issues that touch every family. Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., said the rewritten bill “doesn’t change the fundamental concerns I had at the outset … making sure people with serious medical conditions could get affordable and adequate coverage.” Count him among the GOP moderates who remain opposed.
And veteran Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., said Friday he’s “not comfortable” with the bill and would like to see it changed. A former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Upton said he was concerned people with pre-existing medical problems could face unaffordable premiums.
The Affordable Care Act passed under President Barack Obama requires insurers to take all applicants, regardless of medical history. Patients with health problems pay the same standard premiums as healthy ones.