The revised Republican ObamaCare replacement bill is testing the party’s pledge to preserve protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.
House Republicans’ own website states that people should “never” be charged more for having a pre-existing condition, but the revised bill would allow just that in states that are granted a waiver from ObamaCare’s protections.
An amendment from Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) would allow states to apply for waivers from what is known as community rating, which prevents people with pre-existing conditions from being charged higher premiums. Without that protection, insurers could go back to charging people with pre-existing conditions exorbitantly high premiums, which could put coverage out of reach for many.
Under the amendment, people would still be protected if they maintain “continuous coverage,” meaning they did not have a gap in coverage. And in order to receive the waivers, states would have to set up high-risk pools to help provide coverage for sick people.
Critics of the high-risk pools say they were tried before ObamaCare was enacted and were ineffective.
The possibility that some states could go back to the days of insurers charging sick people high rates is testing Republican vows.
President Trump had promised to keep ObamaCare protections for people with pre-existing conditions. “It happens to be one of the strongest assets,” Trump told CBS’s “60 Minutes” shortly after the election.
Some moderate Republican lawmakers are opposing the new healthcare bill on the grounds that it breaks the pledge on pre-existing conditions.
Asked about the pledge on the House Republican website, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), who opposes the bill, told MSNBC: “I do not think that the current configuration of the law is consistent with that and that’s why I’m voting as I’m voting.”
“It would cost people more than it’s costing them now, people who are already sick, and that’s not going to…