Democrats Block Vote on Joyce-Gonzalez Amendment to Protect Americans with Preexisting Conditions

May 08, 2019
Health Care
Press

WASHINGTON – On Monday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Rules blocked an amendment offered by Representatives Dave Joyce (OH-14) and Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16) to protect Americans with preexisting conditions, refusing to let it be voted on by the entire House as part of H.R. 986. The Joyce-Gonzalez amendment would have protected individuals with preexisting conditions if Obamacare is ruled unconstitutional, ensuring their access to affordable coverage regardless of any determination made by the courts. While titled the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act, H.R. 986 currently totals just one sentence in length and contains no actual protections for this vulnerable population.

“We came to the table to offer a commonsense path forward in the ongoing debate on how to protect people with preexisting conditions, but by refusing to allow this amendment to even be considered, the Majority has made it clear they are more interested in scoring political points than finding solutions to the challenges people face accessing affordable health care,” said Rep. Joyce. “Maneuvers like this perpetuate the endless, partisan messaging war that does nothing to fix the current instability of our health care system. This blue team versus red team mentality is preventing us from solving our nation’s problems and the American people are paying the price.”

“I want to put forth real solutions that protect people with pre-existing conditions, and our amendment would have accomplished that,” said Rep. Gonzalez. “Instead, democratic leadership has refused to even allow our amendment to be voted on. My constituents are rightly concerned about the future of healthcare in America, and our amendment would have provided real certainty to families across Ohio. I came to Congress to lead and to make sure my constituents concerns and priorities are put first as I work with members from both sides of the aisle. I will continue working towards real policy solutions that protect the most vulnerable and encourage my colleagues to join me in that effort.”

The Joyce-Gonzalez amendment proposed on Monday mirrored a bill introduced by Rep. Joyce earlier this year, the Continuing Coverage for Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019, of which Rep. Gonzalez is an original cosponsor. This legislation would separate the five clauses protecting people with preexisting conditions from the Affordable Care Act in the case that the larger law is ruled unconstitutional or invalid by the courts to ensure their coverage remains in place. Introduced on January 9, the bill’s original cosponsors also include Representatives Mike Turner (OH-10), John Katko (NY-24) and Jamie Herrera Beutler (WA-3).

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