Joyce Bill to Protect Americans with Preexisting Conditions Introduced in Senate by John Kennedy

Mar 06, 2020
Press

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) announced that his bill, the Continuing Coverage for Preexisting Conditions Act, has been introduced in the Senate by Senator John Kennedy (R-LA). 

In December of 2018, a U.S. District Court in Texas ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate stands in conflict with the Constitution, invalidating the entire law, including the sections which protect coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions. Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans agreed that the individual mandate was unconstitutional but declined to rule on the fate of the remainder of the law. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments about the ACA’s constitutional validity.

“While my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and I have differing opinions on the ACA and the viability of a government-controlled health care system as a whole, I think we can all agree that deliberate, bipartisan steps must be taken to protect coverage for people with preexisting conditions as the ACA’s litigation inches closer to a conclusion,” said Rep. Dave Joyce. “This bill is a commonsense path forward in the ongoing debate on how to protect these Americans, ensuring they will continue to have access to coverage regardless of any determination made by the courts. I was proud to make the Continuing Coverage for Preexisting Conditions Act my first bill of this Congress and am thankful to Senator Kennedy for introducing it in the Senate.”

“Americans with preexisting health conditions should have confidence that they’re going to keep the coverage they’ve been paying for. I’m thankful to Congressman Joyce for partnering on a simple bill that would protect men, women and kids with preexisting conditions regardless of what the Supreme Court may decide here,” said Senator Kennedy.

Specifically, the Continuing Coverage for Preexisting Conditions Act would separate the five clauses protecting people with preexisting conditions from the ACA in the case that the larger law is ruled unconstitutional or invalid by the courts to ensure their coverage remains in place. The provisions that would be protected by the bill are:

  • a prohibition of discriminatory premium rates based on preexisting conditions;
  • the guaranteed availability of coverage without regard to preexisting conditions; 
  • the guaranteed renewability of coverage without regard to preexisting conditions;
  • a benefit-centric provision, prohibiting only the limitation or exclusion of benefits based on preexisting conditions; and
  • a prohibition of discriminatory rules for eligibility based on preexisting conditions.

In November of 2019, Dave sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi, urging her to bring the Continuing Coverage for Preexisting Conditions Act to the House floor for a vote.

In May of 2017, Dave was one of the 20 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against the AHCA. One of his biggest concerns with the legislation was the lack of protections for those with preexisting conditions.

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