A Look at the Record: Republicans Repeatedly Voted to Kill Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions

Demonstrators gathered at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday June 24, 2017 to protest a proposed Senate healthcare bill.Jeff Malet/ZUMA

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

I would like to reacquaint you with the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of Trumpcare, aka the American Health Care Act of 2017. This is what they said about its effect on people with pre-existing conditions:

CBO and JCT expect that, as a consequence, the waivers in those states would have another effect: Community-rated premiums would rise over time, and people who are less healthy (including those with preexisting or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive nongroup health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all—despite the additional funding that would be available under H.R. 1628 to help reduce premiums. As a result, the nongroup markets in those states would become unstable for people with higher-than-average expected health care costs. That instability would cause some people who would have been insured in the nongroup market under current law to be uninsured.

In simple English, AHCA would have allowed states to request waivers from the requirement that everyone, including those with pre-existing conditions, be charged the same rate. In time, this would have made insurance so expensive that nobody with a pre-existing condition could afford it. On May 4th, nearly every Republican in the House voted to pass this bill.

Later, the Senate tried and failed to pass several variations on this bill. The whole process was pretty confusing, but all of their proposals eliminated protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Some of them did it directly and some of them did it only on a close look, but they all did it. All but three Republicans voted for the final bill.

In other words, forget what Republicans say. Practically every Republican in Congress is on record as actually voting for legislation that eliminates protections for pre-existing conditions and doing it repeatedly. President Trump also supported all these bills.

This is the record Democrats have to work with. They actually passed Obamacare, which manadates that insurance companies cover everyone at the same rate, even those with expensive pre-existing conditions. Republicans, by contrast, almost unanimously voted to repeal those protections.

That’s the record. That’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate