This bill would repeal an October 2018 guidance issued by the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) related to “State Relief and Empowerment Waivers” under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). The guidance loosened restrictions of Section 1332 state innovation waivers, which became available to states in January 2017 under the ACA, by expanding the definition of coverage to include short-term plans and allowing existing state legislation about enforcing Obamacare satisfied the waiver requirement.
What is House Bill H.R. 986?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 986
In-Depth: Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) introduced this bill to “protect Americans with pre-existing conditions by preventing the promotion of junk health plans, which often lack protections for these Americans.” She explained:
“The Trump Administration has done its very best to undermine the Affordable Care Act and access to quality healthcare for millions of Americans. The ACA was a watershed piece of legislation that ensured protections for those who had been denied access to health insurance in the past because of pre-existing conditions. Our legislation would help to ensure that those protections do not fall victim to partisan attacks. I’m committed to working with my colleagues to strengthen and improve access to quality, affordable health insurance for all Americans.”
Original cosponsor Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) added:
“Time and time again this Administration has eroded key ACA consumer protections that are the bedrock of the law. The 1332 guidance the Administration issued further degrades the original intent of the ACA by creating a backdoor to provide Americans with coverage that doesn’t meet the law’s standards and weakens protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”
House Republicans expressed opposition to this bill and support for the Trump administration’s update to the innovation waivers regulation in this bill’s committee report, writing:
“To date, eight States have active waivers, all of which were approved under the Obama Administration guidance. Among these States, for 2018 alone: Alaska experienced a 26 percent premium reduction, Minnesota saw its rate increase reduced to 11.3 percent, significantly less than its 2017 57 percent increase; and, Oregon’s rate changes ranged from -1.6 to 14.8 percent, dropping to a range of -9.6 to 10.1 percent for 2019.
While this bill has a catchy title, it does little to protect individuals living with pre-existing health care conditions. House Republicans continue to support pre-existing condition protections and have offered solutions to give patients this assurance outside of the unpopular, unaffordable, and unconstitutional framework.”
Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Rostislav_Sedlacek)
Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019
To provide that certain guidance related to waivers for State innovation under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act shall have no force or effect.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
- The house Passed May 9th, 2019Roll Call Vote 230 Yea / 183 Nay
HealthCommittee on Energy and CommerceCommittee on Ways and MeansIntroducedFebruary 6th, 2019
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