Donnelly Continues Fight to Protect Hoosiers with Pre-Existing Conditions
U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly continued his fight for quality, affordable health care coverage for Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions by joining a resolution that would allow the Senate’s Legal Counsel to represent the Senate in Texas v. United States. This would enable the Senate to defend protections for Americans with pre-existing condition against the current lawsuit seeking to make this provision unconstitutional. In February, the State of Indiana filed a lawsuit with 19 other states arguing that the health care law should be struck down, including essential coverage. The Department of Justice filed a brief in federal court in June arguing insurers should no longer have to cover Americans with pre-existing conditions. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 30 percent of Hoosiers under the age of 65 (more than 1.1 million people) have pre-existing conditions that could have left them with no coverage or facing higher rates, before the Affordable Care Act prohibited such discrimination. The Department of Justice and State of Indiana’s actions are among the attempts to undermine critical health care protections for consumers and create uncertainty in the health care marketplaces. Last month, Centene and CareSource filed their 2019 plans for Indiana’s health insurance marketplace, with a proposed average premium increase of 5.1%. Both Centene and CareSource suggested that premiums would have been lower if not for actions by the Administration and some in Congress. The Administration proposed and is working to finalize a rule that would allow short-term “junk” insurance plans to be sold for up to 12 months. These plans would not have to cover essential health benefits, like mental health and prescription drugs, and coverage could be denied based on pre-existing conditions or limited by the imposition of annual or lifetime caps.
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